Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Can Back-Channel Diplomacy by Think Tanks Boost US-China Ties?

Think tanks and think tankers have been playing a quiet role in helping keep the US-China relationship afloat.  Here is more from the Wall Street Journal:

China is turning to an old friend in corporate America to bolster communications with the U.S., as President Xi Jinping tries to stabilize the bilateral relationship while gearing up for greater competition between the two powers.

A few days before Mr. Xi’s summit last week with President Biden, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Beijing dispatched a delegation of senior policy advisers and business executives to New York to meet with a U.S. counterpart group set up by insurance executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, one of the most successful American businessmen in China.

Xi approved the trip, organized by a think tank affiliated with China’s Foreign Ministry, right after a Communist Party conclave in October that extended his hold on power, the people said. 

The Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Ministry-affiliated think tank, was named as organizer of the group—whose members, according to the people, include Cui Tiankai, Beijing’s former top envoy to Washington, Chen Deming, ex-commerce minister, and Ning Jizhe, former vice minister at China’s top economic-planning agency.


As Think Tank Watch previously noted, the US group, formed in July 2022, consists of several US think tankers.