Chronologies

US - China

Chronology from Sep 2021 to Dec 2021


: President Biden signs into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which bans all imports from China’s Xinjiang region and imposes sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for force labor in the region.

: Beijing announces sanctions against four members of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in response to Washington’s latest sanctions targeting China’s Xinjiang policies on Dec. 10.

: Secretary Blinken designates designated Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya to serve concurrently as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

: State Department releases the Hong Kong Autonomy Act Report to Congress, which underscores US concerns about the PRC’s continued efforts to undermine the democratic institutions in Hong Kong and erode Hong Kong’s autonomy in its judiciary, civil service, press, and academic institutions.

: One day after Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong, G7 Foreign Ministers (f Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the US) and the High Representative of the EU, issue statement expressing grave concern over the erosion of democratic elements of Hong Kong’s electoral system. A similar statement was issued by the foreign ministers of the “Five Eyes” countries.

: Citing their role in the Chinese government’s alleged oppression of ethnic Uyghurs, the Commerce Department adds China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes to its list of companies and institutions, restricting access to exports.

: Treasury Department adds eight Chinese companies—including DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone manufacturer—to an investment blacklist for actively supporting the “surveillance and tracking” of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China.

: Department of the Treasury imposes sanctions on four Chinese chemical companies and one individual over illicit drug trade.

: Annual Military Maritime Consultative Agreement working group and flag officer session is held with representatives from the US Indo-Pacific Command, Pacific Fleet, and Pacific Air Forces on the US side, and PLA naval and air force officers on the Chinese side.

: Treasury Department imposes investment restrictions on the Chinese company SenseTime, and sanctions two Chinese individuals over alleged oppression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

: State Department designates four current and former senior PRC officials in Xinjiang for their involvement in arbitrary detention of Uyghurs.

: Department of State issues a statement on the announcement by Nicaragua that it is breaking ties with Taiwan and establishing diplomatic relations with the PRC.

: Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds hearing on “The Future of U.S. Policy on Taiwan,” with witnesses Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner.

: White House announces that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest against human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivers a speech titled “The China Challenge” at the 2021 Reagan National Defense Forum.

: Secretary Blinken tells the Reuters Next conference that Chinese leaders should think carefully about their actions toward Taiwan, warning of “terrible consequences” if China precipitates a crisis across the Taiwan Strait.

: Under Secretary Jose W. Fernandez delivers a keynote address at the US-China Business Council’s “Gala 2021: Way Forward.”

: US and PRC defense officials hold working-level virtual meeting to discuss the DoD’s recently released annual report on “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China.”

: Five members of the US House of Representatives visit Taiwan.

: Department of Commerce puts a dozen Chinese companies involved in quantum computing and other advanced technologies on an export blacklist, saying they pose a risk of gaining access to critical US technologies for the PLA.

: Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) conducts a Taiwan Strait transit.

: After Chinese Coast Guard vessels used water cannons to prevent civilian boats manned by the Philippine Navy from delivering supplies to marines aboard the Sierra Madre on Second Thomas Shoal, State Department spokesperson Ned Price accuses China of an escalation against the Philippines and warns that an armed attack would invite a US response.

: US-China Economic and Security Review Commission releases annual report to Congress.

: United States and China announce an agreement to ease restrictions on foreign journalists operating in the two countries.

: Speaking to reporters in New Hampshire, Biden says Taiwan “makes its own decisions,” and is “independent.” Hours later Biden amends his statement, saying “we are not encouraging independence…We’re not going to change our policy at all…We’re encouraging them to do exactly what the Taiwan Act requires…Let them make up their minds, period.”

: US and China simultaneously release detained citizens from each country. Daniel Hsu is allowed to leave China and seven Chinese nationals convicted of crimes in the US are sent back to China.

: Presidents Biden and Xi hold a virtual meeting lasting 3 ½ hours.

: Secretary Blinken speaks with counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in advance of President Blinken’s phone call with Xi Jinping.

: President Biden signs the Secure Equipment Act, which will “ensure that insecure equipment from Huawei, ZTE, and other untrustworthy entities can no longer be inserted into our communications networks,” says FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.

: US and China sign joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s.

: Secretary Blinken says the US and its allies would “take action” if China uses force to alter the status quo over Taiwan.

: President Biden extends order that prohibits US investments in Chinese companies that have alleged ties with the Chinese military.

: In a congratulatory letter to the National Committee on US-China Relations, President Xi says China “stands ready to work with the United States to enhance exchanges and cooperation across the board.”

: In an interview with CNN, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan says that US is seeking coexistence with China rather than containment or a new cold war.

: Department of Defense announces release of its annual report on “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China,” highlighting growing concern about Beijing’s rush to build more nuclear weapons and other cutting-edge military technologies.

: US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley holds phone conversation with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue.

: President Biden says President Xi makes a “big mistake” and damages Beijing’s international standing by not showing up to the COP26 climate summit.

: In remarks in Washington to US steel industry executives, USTR Tai says that she supports updating US trade laws to combat circumvention of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, including tools aimed at subsidized Chinese investment in steel production elsewhere in southeast Asia.

: Secretary Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet in Rome, on the margins of the G20, where Blinken reaffirms US’ one-China stand on Taiwan and both sides reaffirm the need to keep communication lines open.

: EU and US announce a new metals alliance that President Biden said would “restrict access to our markets for dirty steel, from countries like China.”

: Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) releases a declassified Intelligence Community assessment on COVID-19 origins, saying that a natural origin and a lab leak are both plausible hypotheses for how SARS-COV-2 first infected humans.

: Speaking at a virtual East Asia Summit, President Biden calls China’s actions toward Taiwan a threat to peace and stability and reiterates that US support for Taiwan is “rock-solid.” He reaffirms US support for human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and for the rights of the people of Hong Kong.

: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen holds a virtual meeting with China’s Vice Premier Liu He; they discuss macroeconomic and financial developments in US and China.

: Secretary of State Blinken urges United Nations member states to support Taiwan’s “robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system.”

: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revokes China Telecom America’s telecom services authority in the US, citing national security concerns.

: National Counterintelligence and Security Center lists challenges and threats from China for US technology companies in five sectors–artificial intelligence, bio-economy, autonomous systems, quantum information science and technology, and semiconductors.

: Speaking at a CNN town hall event, Biden answers the question if the US “would come to Taiwan’s defense if China attacked” with “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”

: White House press secretary Jen Psaki walks back Biden’s statement that the US is committed to defending Taiwan should it come under Chinese attack, saying US policy “has not changed.”

: Biden’s nominee for ambassador to China Nicholas Burns takes a tough line toward Beijing at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, citing Beijing’s “genocide in Xinjiang,” “bullying of Taiwan” and the need to better support Taiwan.

: Commerce Department announces new rules intended to curb the sale of offensive cybersecurity products to countries with “authoritarian” practices including China.

: US provides details about its temporary “safe haven” program that will allow Hongkongers to work in the country.

: Biden condemns the “oppression and use of forced labor of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang” in a speech at the dedication ceremony for the University of Connecticut’s new Dodd Center for Human Rights.

: Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) conducts Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg.

: China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng says in an interview that the US and China recently established a joint working group to discuss specific issues in bilateral relations and have made progress.

: Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming holdstelephone conversation with US Special Representative for the DPRK Sung Kim.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian asks the US to “clarify in specific details what happened” in a collision involving a US Navy nuclear submarine in the South China Sea, expressing concerns about a nuclear incident.

: USTR Tai holds virtual meeting with China’s Vice Premier Liu He to discuss the US-China trade relationship.

: Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles warns Chinese students of security risks at US borders after a number were “interrogated repeatedly” at the city’s airport.

: CIA Director William J. Burns announces formation of a China Mission Center to address global challenges posed by China that cut across all of the Agency’s mission areas.

: Harvard University moves its Chinese language program from Beijing to Taipei due to a perceived lack of friendliness from the host institution, Beijing Language and Culture University.

: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says China’s recent military activity around Taiwan is “provocative” and warns that it risks miscalculation.

: National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan meets Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi in Zurich.

: President Biden says that he has spoken to President Xi about Taiwan and they agreed to abide by the Taiwan agreement.

: US Trade Representative Katherine Tai delivers speech on US trade policy toward China.

: State Department spokesman Ned Price expresses concerns over China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan after China flies record number of planes in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on the PRC’s national day.

: Dr. Michael Chase, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for China, conducts virtual meeting of the 16th US-PRC Defense Policy Coordination Talks with Maj. Gen. Huang Xueping, deputy director of China’s People’s Liberation Army Office for International Military Cooperation.

: Due to concerns about China’s nuclear weapons buildup, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission suspends shipment of radioactive materials and a hydrogen isotope used in reactors to China’s largest state-owned nuclear company, China General Nuclear Power Group.

: China allows two American siblings – Victor Liu and Cynthia Liu – who were barred from leaving the country for more than three years to return to the US.

: Huawei’s Chief Finance Officer Meng Wanzhou is released and returns to China after reaching a dealwith the US Department of Justice in which she admits to some wrongdoing in exchange for prosecutors deferring and later dropping wire and bank fraud charges. China frees Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases a fact sheet on US interference in Hong Kong affairs and support for anti-China, destabilizing forces.

: President Biden speaks to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Xi Jinping deliversspeech to UNGA on the same day.

: US imposes sanctions on several Hong Kong-based Chinese entities over Iran.

: Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) conducts a routine Taiwan Strait transit.

: Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission, meets virtually with representatives of the US Democratic and Republican parties who attend the 12th China-US Political Party Leaders Dialogue in Beijing.

: Stanford professors urge the Department of Justice to end program looking for Chinese spies in academia.

: China’s new ambassador to the United States Qin Gang calls for stable and constructive commercial ties between the world’s two biggest economies during a virtual meeting with the US-China Business Council.

: Littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16) joins Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group during presence operations in the South China Sea.

: President Biden holds phone call with President Xi to discuss the bilateral relationship.

: USS Benfold (DDG 65) of the 7th Fleet conducts freedom of navigation operation within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.

: US-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds a hearing titled “US-China Relations in 2021: Emerging Risks.”

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