US - China
Chronology from May 2023 to Aug 2023
: State Department notifies Congress of an $80 million arms deal to Taiwan through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program, a scheme usually reserved for sales to sovereign states.
: White House temporarily extends a science and technology agreement with China by six months to provide time for its renegotiation with stakeholder input.
: Commerce Secretary Raimondo visits China for four days to meet with counterparts, and the two sides agree to new consultations on trade and export control systems.
: House Committee on Natural Resources holds a hearing titled “Peace Through Strength: The Strategic Importance of the Pacific Islands to US-led Global Security.”
: State Department approves arms sale to Taiwan of $500 million worth of F-16 Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems and related equipment.
: State Department imposes visa restrictions on Chinese officials in Tibet for their involvement in forced assimilation in government-run boarding schools in the province.
: Commerce Secretary Raimondo meets with Chinese ambassador to the US Xie Feng ahead of her planned trip to China.
: Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security removes 27 Chinese companies from its “Unverified List.”
: In response to Lai’s visit to the US, China conducts military drills in the Taiwan Strait as a “stern warning to the collusion of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists with foreign elements and their provocations.”
: Commerce Department issues a final determination in a year-long investigation into solar tariff contravention which finds five Chinese solar panel companies guilty of skirting said tariffs by shipping their products through Southeast Asia.
: Intel scraps its attempted acquisition of Tower Semiconductor after China’s anti-trust regulator stalls on the deal, in effect, signaling its refusal to approve the deal.
: Taiwanese vice president and presidential candidate in next year’s elections William Lai Ching-te stops over in New York en route to Paraguay, prompting condemnation by China as a “troublemaker through and through.”
: China’s Ministry of State Security arrests a 52-year-old worker for a military-industrial company on suspicion of selling military secrets to the CIA.
: China’s Ministry of Commerce publishes a report attacking Washington’s failed compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.
: President Biden calls China’s slowing economy “a ticking time bomb” at a campaign fundraiser event.
: China expresses “serious concerns” with the White House’s recent Executive Order and accuses the US of pursuing “technology hegemony.”
: President Biden signs executive order requiring US persons to notify the Treasury Department of certain transactions and investments in China, particularly targeting those in high-tech sectors such as semiconductors, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and other technologies with potential military applications.
: President Biden signs legislation to implement the “21st-Century” Trade Initiative with Taiwan.
: Two US Navy sailors charged with providing sensitive military information to China.
: Department of Homeland Security bans imports from two additional Chinese companies through the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List
: White House announces $345 million military aid package for Taiwan—including anti-air and anti-armored munitions—through the fast-track ‘Presidential Drawdown Authority,” prompting China to accuse the US of turning the island into a “powder keg and ammunition depot” a day later.
: Secretary of State Blinken criticizes China’s “problematic behavior…in the region” in remarks during a visit to Tonga.
: Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds hearing on “US Economic Security to Address Economic Coercion and Increasing Competitiveness” where Treasury Undersecretary Jay Shambaugh testifies that the Department “will use a suite of tools” to protect US national security vis-à-vis China.
: House Select Committee on China holds a hearing titled “Commanding Heights: Ensuring US Leadership in the Critical and Emerging Technologies of the 21st Century.”
: House Committee on Energy and Commerce holds a hearing titled “Self-Driving Vehicle Legislative Framework: Enhancing Safety, Improving Lives and Mobility, and Beating China.”
: Qin Gang is replaced in as China’s foreign minister by his predecessor Wang Yi.
: During a fireside chat at the Aspen Security Forum, Secretary of State Blinken calls on Beijing to use its “unique influence” to bring about North Korea’s denuclearization, and not to take US efforts to develop South Korea and Japan’s defense capabilities as directed at China.
: House Select Committee on China holds hearing on “The Biden Administration’s PRC Strategy.”
: Henry Kissinger meets President Xi and other senior officials in Beijing at a time when almost all incumbent US government officials are frozen out of contact with Xi. XI tells Kissinger that US-China ties are at a crossroads.
: House Intelligence Committee holds closed hearing on the “People’s Republic of China Threats to the Homeland.”
: House Select Committee on China holds a hearing titled “Risky Business: Growing Peril for American Companies in China.”
: Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry visits China where he holds meetings with top Chinese climate officials to discuss opportunities for cooperation.
: Secretary of State Blinken meets with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta for “candid and productive” talks.
: US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol and reconnaissance aircraft transits Taiwan Strait.
: China’s Embassy in the Philippines calls Washington the “mastermind” of the seven-year-old arbitration over the South China Sea and accuses the US of coercing its allies “to gang up against China…and force China into accepting the award.”
: Microsoft reveals that a Chinese hacking group gained access to US government email accounts, including those of the ambassador to China Nicholas Burns and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kritenbrink, but the National Security Council reassures that no classified information was affected.
: China conducts a week of naval and air exercises in the Taiwan Strait.
: Treasury Secretary Yellen visits China where she has “frank, pragmatic, in-depth and constructive” meetings with top Chinese officials in charge of economic affairs.
: Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics fines Beijing arm of the Mintz Group for unapproved “foreign-related statistical investigations” across 37 projects conducted during the March 2019 to July 2022 period.
: China’s Ministry of Commerce announces that a licensing system on gallium and germanium exports, key components in chip production, will come into effect Aug. 1 in order to “safeguard national security and interests.”
: Drug Enforcement Administration head Anne Milgram says that China is not cooperating enough on combatting the flow of fentanyl into the US via Mexico.
: CIA Director Burns says that decoupling from China would be “foolish,” but that the US must work to diversify its supply chains.
: President Biden receives China’s ambassador to the US, Xie Feng, at the White House.
: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, says that there is still time to dissuade and deter China from mounting an invasion of Taiwan.
: State Department approves sale of $332.2 million worth of 30mm ammunition to Taiwan.
: China’s embassy in the US says that Washington must remove Chinese officials from the sanctioned specially designated nationals list if it wants to restart military-to-military dialogue.
: A Chinese law is adopted that allows China to take restrictive measures “against acts that endanger [China’s] sovereignty, national security and development interests in violation of international law or fundamental norms governing international relations.”
: Justice Department indicts four Chinese companies and eight nationals over trafficking chemical precursors used in fentanyl production to the US.
: Director of National Intelligence declassifies a report investigating potential links between Wuhan Institute of Virology and the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing a lack of consensus between different intelligence agencies.
: China issues an official reprimand to the US ambassador in Beijing over President Biden’s “dictator” comment.
: US and India announce agreement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to jointly produce General Electric F414 engines in India for New Delhi’s future combat aircraft.
: President Biden labels China’s President Xi a “dictator,” in remarks during a campaign fundraiser, prompting denunciations from China.
: President Biden says that he believes US-China relations are “on the right trail” and hails “progress” after Secretary Blinken’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
: Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Beijing for two days where he holds 12 hours of meetings with top Chinese officials including President Xi—the first visit of its kind since 2018. Blinken also holds meetings with then-Foreign Minister Qing Gang and Central Foreign Affairs Commission director Wang Yi.
: House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on “Assessing US Efforts to Counter China’s Coercive Belt and Road Diplomacy.”
: Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing “To receive a closed briefing on the current dynamics in US-China relations.”
: House Financial Services Committee holds hearing on “The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System,” at which Treasury Secretary Yellen says “it would be disastrous for us to attempt to decouple from China.”
: China conducts naval exercises off the coast of Zhejiang in the East China Sea, coming at the same time as joint naval exercises between the US, Japan, Canada, and France are underway in the Philippine Sea, beginning on June 9.
: Commerce Department says that it will extend existing exemptions to US export controls against the Chinese advanced semiconductor sector to apply to manufacturers in South Korea and Taiwan and allow them to continue to do business in China.
: White House denies reporting by the Wall Street Journal and Politico that suggests that China is in talks with Cuba to establish an eavesdropping facility that reaches the US.
: Department of Homeland Security bans imports from two additional Chinese companies through the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List.
: Senate Foreign Relations Committee approves the “Ending China’s Developing Nation Status Act” calling on the secretary of State to work towards stripping China of its ‘developing’ country status in international organizations.
: Xie Feng tells US-China Business Council that Beijing considers the Taiwan issue “the biggest risk” to US-China relations, but that China “has always been open to dialogue.”
: Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing on “Aligning transatlantic approaches on China.”
: House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing titled “IP and Strategic Competition with China: Part II—Prioritizing US Innovation Over Assisting Foreign Adversaries.”
: The US and India release a Roadmap for US-India Defense Industrial Cooperation prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-day state visit to the US.
: Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, meets China’s Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu in Beijing and the two hold “candid and productive” talks.
: Chinese DM Li Shangfu hails China’s regional ties and criticizes “countries outside the region” for asserting “hegemony of navigation in the name of freedom of navigation” in remarks at the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue.
: Destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal transit Taiwan Strait during which a Chinese guided-missile destroyer veered across the former’s bow in an “unsafe” maneuver.
: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin shakes hands with Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu at 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, but they hold no “substantive dialogue”; Beijing rejected Washington’s request for a meeting on the conference’s sidelines.
: Secretary of Defense loyd Austin calls out China’s “alarming number of risky intercepts of US and allied aircraft flying lawfully in international airspace” in his remarks at the Shangri-La Dialogue.
: CIA announces that Director William Burns made a secret trip to China in May in an attempt to keep lines of communication open despite security and economic tensions.
: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee holds a hearing “To examine countering China, focusing on advancing US national security, economic security, and foreign policy, including S.1271, to impose sanctions with respect to trafficking of illicit fentanyl and its precursors by transnational criminal organizations, including cartels.”
: US Indo-Pacific Command denounces a Chinese jet for performing an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver against one of its reconnaissance planes during a routine overflight in international airspace over South China Sea on May 26.
: US Trade Representative Katherine Tai meets China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Detroit.
: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo meets with Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao in Washington where the two had “candid and substantive discussions on issues relating to the US-China commercial relationship.”
: Microsoft and US intelligence accuse China of sponsoring hacker network Volt Typhoon upon discovering efforts to target military communications infrastructure in Guam.
: China’s new Ambassador to the US Xie Feng arrives in Washington.
: House Homeland Security Committee holds a hearing titled “A Security Sprint: Assessing the US Homeland’s Vulnerabilities to Chinese Communist Party Aggression”
: The US and Papua New Guinea conclude a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) and an Agreement Concerning Illicit Transnational Maritime Activity Operations. It later emerges that the DCA will enable the US military to station troops and vessels at six key ports and airports and allow “unimpeded access” to the sites to pre-position equipment and supplies and “exclusive use” of some zones for development and construction activities.
: President Biden says that US-China relations will “thaw very shortly” during a press conference prior to departing the G7 Summit in Hiroshima.
: China bans domestic companies that handle critical information from buying products made by US chipmaker Micron over “serious network security risks.”
: Leaders of G7 countries issue a joint communiqué at the bloc’s annual summit’s climax saying that they aim to “de-risk and diversify” their economic relationship with China, rather than de-coupling, and to confront its actions which “distort the global economy.”
: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson describes G7 leaders’ communiqué as “hindering international peace, undermining regional stability and curbing other countries’ development.”
: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes a 5,000-word report criticizing “America’s Coercive Diplomacy and Its Harm.”
: US Trade Representative reaches initial agreement with Taiwan on the “21st-century” Trade Initiative.
: House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing titled “Standing United Against the People’s Republic of China’s Economic Aggression and Predatory Practices.”
: Montana becomes the first state to ban TikTok from operating inside its borders.
: House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing “To receive special testimony on the role of Special Operations Forces in supporting the National Defense Strategy, including activities that contribute to long-term strategic competition with China and Russia.”
: House Select Committee on China holds a hearing titled “Leveling the Playing Field: How to Counter the CCP’s Economic Aggression.”
: Included among the inaugural cases of an interagency “technology strike force” are charges against a former Apple engineer for allegedly trying to sell source code for advanced machinery with military implications to China, and against China-based agents attempting to send blacklisted weapons components to Iran.
: Senate Appropriations Committee holds hearing on “A Review of the President’s Fiscal Year 24 Budget Request: Investing in US Security, Competitiveness, and the Path Ahead for the US-China Relationship” with Secretaries Austin, Blinken, and Raimondo testifying.
: House Natural Resources Committee holds hearing on “Preserving US Interests in the Indo-Pacific: Examining How US Engagement Counters Chinese Influence in the Region.”
: China sentences 78-year-old US citizen and Hong Kong national John Shing-Wan Leung to life in prison on espionage charges.
: US federal court in Boston charges a Chinese-American man with conspiracy over allegedly working with Chinese officials to spy on and suppress pro-democracy activism by Chinese nationals in the US.
: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman retires from the State Department and replaced by Victoria Nuland as her acting successor.
: House Rules Committee holds a hearing on “Examining China’s Coercive Economic Tactics.”
: National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan meets Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi over two days in Vienna.
: US moves a $500 million proposed arms sale package bound for Taiwan to a fast track through the “Presidential Drawdown Authority” created for streamlining aid to Ukraine.
: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the South China Sea should not become a “hunting ground for external forces” after the US and the Philippines affirm new guidelines to govern their mutual defense commitments.
: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III and Philippine Secretary of the Department of National Defense Carlito Galvez establish the Bilateral Defense Guidelines to modernize their alliance cooperation.