‘Overcapacity’ rhetoric is flawed proposition; manufacturing competitiveness relies on innovation

The US government announced new protectionist tariffs last week, targeting Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) and other high-tech products. 

Wielding the stick of tariffs against China's competitive industries is the latest move in the US' recent "overcapacity" offensive against China. In essence, it is still implementing trade protectionism, undermining WTO rules, and suppressing the Chinese economy. However, the US' accusation of Chinese industrial "overcapacity" is a false proposition, as the competitiveness of Chinese products relies on homegrown innovation.

This so-called "overcapacity" rhetoric reflects the increasing anxiety of the US, seeing the rapid development of China's new-energy sector. The narrative is a way to shift blame for their own backwardness in related industries, and also a tactic to curb China's technological progress and industrial development.

The competitiveness of China's "new three items" in the international market comes from the continuous technological innovation of China's new-energy industry, efficient production and complete supply chain, and high labor productivity. The market economy is a process of continuous balance between supply and demand. 

It is against basic economic principles to accuse Chinese industrial competitiveness as "dumping" and "overcapacity." In the face of the US' suppression, China should promote stability through progress, establish the new before abolish the old, and that China will become a global leader of innovation is the coming trajectory.

The Chinese automotive industry's "going global" strategy has surpassed expectations, but there is still much more potential for growth in the future. Foreign consumers recognize Chinese products mainly because the country has done relatively well in addressing climate change, green transition, and low-carbon initiatives. 

As long as China unleashes the huge potential of its colossal market, the innovative potential of the Chinese automotive industry, and the advantages of institutional openness in China, the Chinese automotive industry will lead the global automotive market in the coming many years.

China's PMI in April showed that the recovery of small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises is gaining pace, demonstrating that the endogenous driving force of China's economy continues to strengthen, and the quality of development of small and medium-sized enterprises continues to improve. 

Small and medium-sized enterprises account for the vast majority of the total number of enterprises globally, and the same is true in China. If small and medium-sized technology enterprises can make a greater contribution in technological innovation, they will become the core competitiveness of a future enterprise, as well as a country.

There are three core elements for enterprises to create new quality productive forces: First, innovation. Without innovation, small and medium-sized technology companies will be hard to succeed. Second, innovation should be groundbreaking, original, and fundamental. Third, the most important aspect of developing new quality productive forces is to achieve the optimal allocation of all production factors.

As a global manufacturing powerhouse, China has the most complete industrial system, the most comprehensive categories, and a mature upstream and downstream supply chain. To take it to the next level on the existing foundation, China needs to combine digital economy with existing traditional manufacturing enterprises to create new industries, new formats, and new models.

Currently, it is a very important moment for the transformation and upgrade of China's manufacturing industry. There are two key points that are very important: First, the development of industrial internet. Second, the promotion of smart manufacturing. The combination of digital technology and contemporary industrial development is urgent, and digital technology should be used to promote the matching of supply and demand, especially by leveraging artificial intelligence and big data analysis to improve the alignment of consumer preferences and the flexible production capabilities of enterprises, and to build a digital technology-supported manufacturing industry chain, supply chain, and the complete value chain.

Developing future industries, the key lies in the country's talent pool. This is where China lags behind some of the world's developed economies. China has a large pool of skilled workers, but researchers have low enthusiasm for industrialization, and a large number of research results are still "sleeping" in the laboratory.

To develop future industries, China should continue to respect intellectual property rights, accelerate the reform of incentives for intellectual property rights, and promote scientific research innovation and results transformation. While introducing international talent, China should ramp up efforts in cultivating talent, strengthen basic education, foster innovation awareness, establish a trial and error mechanism, incentivize research talent to innovate, and cultivate local talent through practice.

And, China needs to accelerate the reform in key areas and key links such as talent training, evaluation, personnel mobility, and incentive system, injecting strong momentum into talent development.

State Grid Xuchang Power Supply Company: ’Electricity Butler‘ listing service directly connects with the community

"After a phone call, someone came to help me survey the installation location of the charging station. They arrived in less than 10 minutes and provided professional guidance. I'm very satisfied with the service," said Chu Dingjuan a customer who had applied for an electric vehicle charging station in Xuchang City, Henan Province in Central China.
The "Electricity Butler" listing service is an innovative measure taken by State Grid Xuchang Power Supply Company to implement grid-based direct and precise services, ensuring convenient electricity consumption for its customers. In order to improve customer satisfaction with electricity usage, the company divides the power supply area into 72 power supply service grids based on factors such as load density, service radius, and equipment condition. The charging of fees, low-voltage business expansion, emergency repairs, and low-voltage electricity inspections are included in the grid service management.

An "Electricity Butler" is arranged for each grid to provide listing services, and actively enters into the community's WeChat group to fully understand the customers' needs. Information on power outage, proxy purchase, and new energy services is promptly released by the company, actively creating a "1+1+1" grid service model where an "Electricity Butler" is responsible for one grid and serves a group of users, catering to the diversified electricity needs of customers.

In order to enhance the awareness of grid customers towards the grid "Electricity Butler", the State Grid Xuchang Power Supply Company has created a grid "Electricity Butler" information board, which includes their personal basic information, power supply service scope, service hotline, and a complaint hotline. These information boards are posted in prominent positions on the electric meter boxes to ensure that customer service demands can be contacted promptly, quickly, and will be effectively addressed by service managers. This has achieved the goal of "full-coverage, zero-distance service", effectively enhancing the public's sense of electricity access reliability.

Since the implementation of the "Electricity Butler" listing service by State Grid Xuchang Power Supply Company, the grid members have joined a total of 4129 WeChat power supply service groups, serving a total of 627,900 customers. While quickly solving customer electricity issues, they have also narrowed distances, built a "heart to heart bridge" to communicate with their customers, and effectively improved customer satisfaction by providing reliable electricity supply.

N.China’s Tianjin port launches new route to S.America's east coast

A new sea route from North China's Tianjin Municipality to the east coast of South America became operational on Monday, to facilitate trade between China and countries of the region with upgraded transport capacity.

China and South America have the longest sea route crossing the Pacific Ocean, and the new service will promote business and trade cooperation, experts noted.

The route will be operated by China COSCO Shipping Co (COSCO Shipping), connecting Tianjin port to various ports in South America including Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Itapoa and Navegantes in Brazil. It's the first sea route from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region launched in recent years, the China News Service reported on Monday.

COSCO Shipping will deploy12 vessels with capacity of 14,000 standard containers each to the route, with weekly departures. It will shorten the delivery time between Tianjin and Brazil from the previous 54 days to 40 days, and will also increase the loading capacity of cold chain containers.

The ships will carry soybeans, iron ore, coffee beans, cocoa, sugar and beef to China, and export daily necessities, chemicals, vehicles and parts, steel and furniture to South America.

Jiang Shixue, a professor at the Center for Latin American Studies at Shanghai University, told the Global Times on Monday that China has close business ties with multiple South American countries but the growth may be capped by delivery times, and the new route will upgrade the transport capacity.

China has been Brazil's largest trade partner for 15 consecutive years, and Brazil is also China's largest trade partner in Latin America and direct investment destination.

In the first quarter of 2024, bilateral trade hit $45.34 billion, up by 24.3 percent year-on-year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

On January 4, Dalian port in Northeast China's Liaoning Province launched the port's first routes to South America, which shortened the transport time of 32 days between Dalian and Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador to 25 days.

Powering the future

The world's first 300MW/1800MWh advanced compressed air energy storage (CAES) national demonstration power station in Feicheng, Shandong Province has been successfully completed and connected to the electricity grid.

At 11:18 am, on April 30, the world's first 300MW/1800MWh advanced CAES national demonstration power station with complete independent intellectual property rights in Feicheng, successfully achieved its first grid connection and power generation. The power station utilizes advanced CAES technology independently developed by the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Zhongchu Guoneng (Beijing) Technology Co, Ltd invested in the project and led its construction. Power China Nuclear Engineering Company Limited is the construction party. It is currently a new type of CAES power station with advantages in scale, efficiency, and cost.

The R&D team made breakthroughs in key technologies for the 300MW CAES system, overcoming technical challenges such as a multistage wide-load compressor, a multistage high-load expander, a high-efficiency supercritical heat storage and heat exchange unit, an optimized design at full operation condition, and the integration of the whole system.

Compared to the 100MW CAES system, the unit cost of the 300 MW CAES system has decreased by more than 30 percent, and the system has 100 percent independent intellectual property rights. All core technologies are also independent and controllable.

The power station has a capacity of 300MW/1800MWh, with a total investment of 1.496 billion yuan ($207 million). Its rated design efficiency is 72.1 percent. It can achieve continuous discharge for six hours, generating approximately 600 million kWh per year.

This provides power support for about 200,000 to 300,000 households during peak electricity demand, saves about 189,000 tons of standard coal annually, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 490,000 tons.

20th CPC Central Committee to hold 3rd plenary session in July

The third plenary session of the 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee will be held in Beijing in July, according to a decision made at a CPC Central Committee Political Bureau meeting on Tuesday.

According to the main agenda of the session, the Political Bureau will report its work to the Central Committee, and the session will primarily study issues concerning further comprehensively deepening reform and advancing Chinese modernization.

The Political Bureau meeting also analyzed the current economic situation and economic work, and deliberated a document on policies and measures for continuously advancing the high-quality integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting. 

A strong tornado hits south China's Guangzhou, resulting in 5 deaths, 33 injuries

On Saturday afternoon, a powerful tornado struck a district in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, resulting in five deaths and 33 injuries. The local meteorological bureau announced on Saturday night that strong convective weather is expected to continue occurring frequently in the city in the coming days.

Around 3 pm on Saturday, the tornado hit Zhongluotan town in Guangzhou's Baiyun district, impacting an area approximately one kilometer wide and affecting four villages.

By 10 pm on Saturday, on-site search and rescue operations had been largely completed. The disaster resulted in 5 deaths and 33 injuries, with the injured promptly transported to hospitals for treatment. 141 factories sustained damage, but there were no reports of collapsed residential buildings.

Following the disaster, the city swiftly organized six working groups, including those for rescue, repair, post-disaster support, and order maintenance, and initiated emergency response procedures. Medical, public security, traffic police, fire, and housing construction departments, along with personnel from the town and villages, were mobilized to conduct comprehensive search and rescue efforts.

The local meteorological bureau reported that since noon on Saturday, hail and tornadoes occurred in Guangzhou, accompanied by widespread moderate to severe thunderstorms and heavy rain, along with short-lived strong winds and intense lightning.

In the Saturday afternoon, a strong convective cloud system entered Guangzhou, later moving into Renhe town and Zhongluotan town in Baiyun District, lasting approximately 40 minutes.

During this time, a tornado occurred near Liangtian village in Zhongluotan town of Baiyun District. The local meteorological station recorded a maximum gust of 20.6 meters per second (Beaufort scale force 8) approximately 2.8 kilometers from the tornado's point of occurrence.

A preliminary survey has been conducted on the tornado's impact path, covering approximately 1.7 kilometers. The maximum width of the impact is about 280 meters. Based on preliminary assessment, the tornado is judged to be of strong intensity, equivalent to an EF2 tornado on the Fujita scale.

The local authority explained the reason for the occurrence of the tornado in Guangzhou.

Over a period of time, warm and humid air currents from the southwest of the South China Sea continuously strengthened, delivering a large amount of moisture and energy to Guangzhou. This led to a prolonged period of high temperature and humidity, resulting in atmospheric instability near the surface with the accumulation of significant unstable energy.

Furthermore, on Saturday morning, warm and humid air currents near the surface continued to intensify, with several observation stations recording unusually high absolute humidity levels.

Additionally, during the daytime on Saturday, the low-level jet stream intensified, exacerbating the unstable layering of "warm below, cold above," thereby creating favorable conditions for the formation of tornadoes and hail as the 0-6km wind shear, conducive to create tornadoes and hail, exceeded 25m/s.

Lastly, the convergence of mesoscale convergence lines on the ground and the passage of high-altitude fluctuations acted as triggering conditions, initiating strong updrafts, which led to the intense development of the parent storm for the tornado.

Home-developed brain chip unveiled at forum

Implanted in the brain is a small, soft film connected by delicate threads. Through this, a monkey with its hands tied up can control a robotic arm with "just its thoughts" and grasp a strawberry.

This high performance of the brain-computer interfaces (BCI) technology revealed at the Zhongguancun (ZGC) Forum on Thursday is backed by a core brain chip, called "Neucyber," independently developed by Chinese scientists. Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his brain-chip startup Neuralink implanted a brain chip in a sick man.

The high performance is attributed to the three core components in Neucyber independently developed in China — high-throughput flexible microelectrodes, two high-speed neural signal acquisition devices and a generative neural decoding algorithm.

"The BCI involves capturing subtle changes in brain electrical signals, decoding brain intentions, and achieving 'thought' control of 'actions,' allowing the control of machines without physical contact," said Luo Minmin from the Chinese Institute for Brain Research.

The performance of BCI lies in the clarity of capturing brain electrical signals and the precision of their conversion, which rely on electrodes and algorithms, respectively.

The electrode acts as a "sensor," implanted in the brain to "read" brain electrical signals, with its performance determining the quantity and quality of captured brain signals.

Brain tissue is very soft and moves rhythmically with a person's heartbeat and breathing. In the past, the implantation of electrodes made of hard materials such as steel needles caused damage to brain tissue, triggering inflammatory reactions and leading to the encapsulation of the electrodes, which over time weakened the signals, says Li Yuan, Business Development Director of Beijing Xinzhida Neurotechnology, the company that developed this BCI brain chip system.

Implantable electrodes use flexible materials, greatly reducing damage to the brain and ensuring long-term stable signal acquisition. The flexible electrode has been stably implanted in the monkey's skull for nearly a year, and is still able to collect high-quality signals, according to Li.

The Neucyber is the first system in the world to realize the brain control interception of two-dimensional moving objects by rhesus monkeys through mind control. In the future, this could offer new hope for paralyzed people to be able to touch and grasp things in the physical world, Li noted.

Industry observers said the BCI technology is a systematic project that has higher requirement for stability and involving electrodes, chips, algorithms, software and materials. Key technologies are still needed to be further broken through.

Previously, China's prestigious Tsinghua University announced that Chinese scientists had made a breakthrough in the world's first patient BCI rehabilitation trial.

A team, led by principal Biomedical Engineering researcher Hong Bo from the School of Medicine with Tsinghua University, designed and developed the wireless minimally invasive implanted BCI technology device NEO (Neural Electronic Opportunity). The NEO was successfully implanted into a patient's brain for the BCI-assisted treatment trial at the Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing, on October 24, 2023.

China celebrates World Intellectual Property Day with coordinated regional development strategy

Ahead of the 24th World Intellectual Property Day that is set for April 26, China's cultural enforcement departments jointly signed the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Regional Copyright Enforcement Cooperation Agreement in Beijing on Friday. Officials and experts highlighted that the move will further deepen regional cooperation in copyright enforcement and promotion, social services, as well as talent cultivation.

2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of coordinated development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. World Intellectual Property Day 2024 and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Copyright cooperation forum, themed "Promoting Cultural Inheritance and Development, Stimulating Innovation and Creativity," focused on promoting the inheritance and development of excellent Chinese traditional culture under new technological trends, emphasizing the role of copyrighting in empowering the creative transformation and innovative development of culture.

Liu Jinquan, head of the Tianjin Copyright Association, told the Global Times that future cooperation among Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei in copyright matters will become more frequent and convenient, enhancing copyright recognition and strengthening exchanges and cooperation to make the region a model area for the innovative development of the copyright business in China.

At the event, the China Copyright Association released 10 major copyright events in China in 2024, including the 50th anniversary of China's cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a significant increase in national copyright registrations, and discussions on whether AI-generated works constitute infringement.

On Saturday, as part of the series of activities, a forum on copyright governance and artistic development in the AI era was held at the Communication University of China. Discussions focused on new challenges in copyright governance and artistic development in AI scenarios, including AI technology development and application, AI and copyright management, the impact of AI on artistic development, and more were held.  

Feng Hua, Secretary-General of the Capital Copyright Association, stated at the event, "This year, we will focus on the field of artificial intelligence, including discussions on copyright protection for AI-generated products, such as copyright and ownership after the generation of works."

Feng told the Global Times that China is at the forefront of AI-generated copyrights globally, and while various countries are continuously optimizing their approaches, suggestions and guidance on the use of AI should be provided, encouraging the development of the AI industry.

She emphasized that the greatest copyright infringement risks in the training database's input and output stages involve the infringement of reproduction rights and adaptation rights. 

"Solving intellectual property challenges associated with generative artificial intelligence requires the use of multiple institutional tools, the establishment of diversified solutions, and the creation of a comprehensive solution," she said.

The event also launched many other activities, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei copyright campus tour, focused on exhibiting intangible cultural heritage crafts and their innovative achievements, such as the Beijing Jingtailan cloisonne, the traditional Beijing mascot Lord Rabbit, known as Tu'er Ye in Chinese, Tianjin folk art Clay Figure Zhang, and more.

Gen-Z Chinese, American players gain friendship in table tennis matches, add a vivid chapter to ‘Ping-Pong Diplomacy’

Editor's Note:

The youth are the vanguards of our time, showcasing boundless energy and vibrant personalities.

Gen-Zers not only represent the makers of the future but also serve as agents of change in the present. With an open mindset and an international outlook, they actively integrate into the currents of globalization, engaging in deep exchanges, and collaborating with youth from around the world to explore pathways and strategies to address global challenges.

The Global Times has launched the "Voice from Gen Z" series, which focuses on the proactive actions and innovative achievements of young people in areas such as global governance, cultural exchange, environmental protection, and technological innovation. Through this column, we aim to showcase the unique charm and future leadership of global Gen-Zers.
At the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Museum and China Table Tennis Museum in Shanghai, Wu Yiman held Abigail Barr's hands, and taught her how to catch the ping-pong balls served by a training robot in front of her step by step.

The two offered a contrasting image of the sport. While Wu has played ping-pong for 16 years and is a postgraduate student at the China Table Tennis College, Shanghai University of Sport, Barr, a sophomore at the University of Virginia (UVA), barely has experience in the sport. Minutes later, at the museum, the two participated in a friendly table tennis match between Chinese and US youth as partners.

With the match set to start, Barr continually expressed her apprehension to Wu, and each time Wu reassured the rookie.

"It's just a game," Wu said to Barr in English. "Have more fun."

Wu's words were magical. Of the two matches they had that day, Wu and Barr won the first, better than they had expected.

Moreover, the Chinese and US youth formed a valuable bond of friendship in just two short days of being together. "This was a far more precious present for me compared to the match result," Wu told the Global Times.

A surprising victory

Wu first met Barr the night before the friendly match, at a welcome dinner at a hotel in downtown Shanghai. "She was so beautiful and graceful," said the 23-year-old, recalling her first impression of Barr. "My eyes were involuntarily drawn to her."

Barr was among a US student delegation that came to China in early January for a China-US youth ping-pong exchange.

As the first batch of US youth visiting China under the program meant to "invite 50,000 US students to China over the next five years," the inaugural delegation hoped to promote better understanding between the two countries' younger generations, similar to "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" 53 years ago, a milestone in the history of China-US relations.

The delegation consisted of 12 UVA students, and a few teaching and administrative staffers from the university. They visited Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai during their trip to China.

The friendly ping-pong doubles match was held in Shanghai on January 9, 2024. The young delegation members partnered with experienced local student players. They learned ping-pong skills from each other, and enhanced mutual understanding in cooperation.

Some of the US students have been playing table tennis for many years, while others, including the 20-year-old Barr, are newbies with little experience with the sport. In Wu's eyes, Barr was curious about table tennis, although she was reluctant to try at the beginning. "Barr told me that she was afraid she wouldn't play well and could 'drag me down' as a partner," Wu recalled.

That night after the welcome dinner, Wu wrote a letter to Barr to encourage her. "Don't be anxious about winning or losing the game," she wrote. "All I hope is that you can feel the friendship and the joy of sports."

The next day, before the friendly match, Wu took Barr to practice ping-pong in anticipation of their impending friendly match. The practice included trying the fancy training robot at the museum. Wu said she could feel that Barr was becoming increasingly positive about the match. "When she gradually discovered that she could intercept the ball by herself, she gained a sense of accomplishment, and her interest grew."

That day, when Wu and Barr won their first match, the two embraced joyfully and cheered, as though they had been partners for years. "We were very satisfied with this result," Wu told the Global Times. "It was a surprising victory."
Precious friendship

For Wu, the highlight of the friendly match was not their victory, but an impressive and friendship-filled moment at the end of the match.

That day, a few renowned former ping-pong champions, including Wang Liqin and Zhang Yining, were also present. Before the friendly match ended, when most members of the US delegation gathered around the champions for signatures, Barr came to Wu, inviting her to sign her new commemorative medal from the friendly match.

"I was almost moved to tears," said Wu. "I mean more to her than world champions."

Wu and Barr became good friends in less than two days of spending time together. They, as Wu said, are both extroverted and have a lot to talk about. Apart from table tennis, their topics ranged from family and growing up, to their respective universities and majors.

Barr told Wu that she once dreamed of being a top ballet dancer, and had spent much time on working toward this dream. "But unfortunately, she didn't realize this dream because of her injured knee(s)," Wu sighed.

Through these conversations, Wu was also delighted to find that Barr had much more interest in and knowledge of China than she had initially thought. Barr showed great command of intermediate Chinese and even had a Chinese tutor.

"Before meeting her, I spent a night cramming some professional English ping-pong terms, but later I only used a few of them," smiled Wu. "It's nice that we have no language barrier."

With family members living in China, Barr said she has been to China several times. On the day of the friendly match, Barr wore a mahjong-shaped earring, a Christmas present from her younger sister.

The UVA delegation left China in mid-January. Wu and Barr still keep in touch via WeChat and Instagram, sharing memes and fun details about their lives, and even sent each other best wishes over Chinese New Year.

Barr told Wu that she would come to China again. "I look forward to meeting her again in China soon," Wu said.

Vigorous envoys

In April 1971, the US ping-pong delegation conducted an ice-breaking visit to China at China's invitation. Prior to that, the two countries had had no official contact for more than two decades.

This was the start of the well-known "Ping-Pong Diplomacy," which paved the way for the normalization of China-US relations in those hard years filled with ideological confrontations.

Fifty-three years ago, young ping-pong players from China and the US jumpstarted the process of normalizing China-US relations in Beijing, hence the much-told stories of "the little ball being able to move the big ball" were shared by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning at a press conference on January 9, the day when the friendly ping-pong match was held in Shanghai.

Mao mentioned the UVA delegation's visit, praising it as "adding new chapter to the stories of China-US friendship that began with Ping-Pong Diplomacy and new impetus for people-to-people exchanges."

Echoing Mao, Wu thinks that Chinese and the US Gen-Zers are vigorous envoys of the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. Compared to older generations, younger generations are more open and inclusive, have more innate goodwill, and are curious about each other, she said.

Wu recalled that one of the UVA delegation members received a small gift with Chinese elements from his Chinese ping-pong partner - a Spring Festival couplet. "He was so excited and intrigued, that he kept asking us the meaning of the Chinese characters on the couplet."

Wu had met many young people from the US previously. At the international summer camps annually hosted by the China Table Tennis Collage, Wu guides young ping-pong players and enthusiasts from all over the world, including those from the US. She described the overall impressions that US students gave her: "Confident, humorous, and it's relaxing to be with them."

"They are similar to our Chinese youth," Wu concluded. "We are not so different. We are equally confident, friendly, and conversable."

Having played a receptionist role during the UVA delegation's visit to China, Wu is pleased to serve as a window for the US youth to know more about Shanghai and China. "I believe that the future belongs to the youth," she told the Global Times. "I hope that we Gen-Zers can lay a good foundation for the promising future of China-US relations."

A fan of the US musical Hamilton herself, Wu said she is very interested in the history, culture, and people in the US. She also looks forward to visiting the US in the near future, and taking a closer look at the country and making local friends.

"It would be even better to meet Barr again there," she smiled.

Japan's diplomacy document exposes 'opportunistic, double-dealing motives' in its China policy

US President Joe Biden (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrive to speak at a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, April 10, 2024. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

In its latest foreign policy report, Japan is following the cliché of smears against China by playing up the so-called China threat and interfering in China's internal affairs, yet at the same time, it restored language that states it needs "strategic and mutually beneficial relations with China." Analysts said this exposes the country's opportunistic and double-dealing motives in its China policy.

In a joint statement in 2008, China and Japan agreed to promote a strategic relationship of mutual benefit in an all-round way. In November 2023, two heads of state reaffirmed the positioning of comprehensively advancing the strategic and mutually beneficial relations at their meeting in San Francisco. 

However, in recent years, Japan appears to have abandoned the consensus reached with China and intensified China-bashing language in its defense, diplomacy and other official documents.

According to Kyodo News on Tuesday, the 2024 Diplomatic Bluebook said Japan will promote a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" with China, using wording last seen in the 2019 report, although still claimed its neighboring country poses "an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge."

The report mentions "serious concerns" over China's "attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo" and "a series of dangerous acts" in the South China Sea as well as the importance of accelerating trilateral collaboration among the US, Japan, and the Philippines to deal with them, Kyodo News reported.

In response, Lin Jian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a Tuesday press briefing that China is firmly opposed to the Japanese document which has followed the cliché of smears and accusations against China, hyped the so-called China threat and interfered in China's internal affairs unreasonably.

We urge the Japanese side to correct its wrong actions, stop provoking and creating bloc confrontation, truly position the strategic and mutually beneficial relations with China as a guideline for the development of bilateral ties, and make unremitting efforts to build constructive and stable China-Japan relations that meet the requirements of the new era, Lin said.

The two Asian neighbors remain at odds over various issues with Japan intensifying its efforts in joining the US to contain China.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has just returned from a high-profile trip to the US, where he tried to show diplomatic results by emphasizing "strengthening the US-Japan alliance." 

"During his visit to the US, the prime minister's face was filled with a smile never seen in Japan," Japan's Asahi Shimbun reported on Tuesday.

The report noted that it is undeniable that with the infinite deepening of the integration process between Japan and the US, Japan will undoubtedly be more firmly integrated into the strategy of the US to contain China. 

"Does Kishida's rarely seen smile in the US really herald a new level of cooperation between the US-Japan alliance?" questioned Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

The expert noted that even as China and the US are in competition in multiple aspects, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink have visited China in succession, therefore there has been significantly more high-level communication between China and the US than between China and Japan.

According to Da, the political elite and economic circles in Washington must have a consensus - the level of engagement of US-Japan relations cannot be compared with that of China-US relations. In this context, the first risk Japan faces is whether it can bear the consequences of blindly following the US' inducement to "de-risk" or "decouple" with China. The second risk is that Japan's participation in the US strategy to contain China will inevitably provoke geopolitical instability, which is not desirable for countries that desire peace. As an Asian country, it is uncertain whether Japan can cope with the tension with its neighbors.