Beijing clearly does not want to spend time and resources on talking to people that undermine and vilify it at every turn
A recent Politico article, citing unnamed US officials, claims that China is “ghosting” the US, ignoring American attempts to re-establish diplomatic communications after they broke down in February.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, ‘to ghost’ someone is social media-era slang that means to leave a conversation hanging by suddenly ceasing to reply. This, according to officials cited by Politico, is what’s going on between the US and China, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken attempting to reschedule his Beijing visit, which he canceled after the recent ‘spy balloon’ incident, and the Chinese giving him the diplomatic cold shoulder.
The way the article frames it, Washington is making attempts to “stabilize an increasingly volatile relationship,” but “thin-skinned” Beijing is avoiding engagement because it, among other things, resents US arms sales to Taiwan and US officials’ contacts with Taiwan’s pro-independence politicians.
‘Thin-skinned’ is a baffling description for China’s approach to dealing with the US if one takes a sober look at how things have been developing. Beijing has likely arrived at the conclusion that it is a waste of time to pursue dialogue with Washington, which has failed to demonstrate any good faith whatsoever. Instead, the administration of President Joe Biden has shown itself to be easily susceptible to outbreaks of anti-China hysteria on the domestic political arena, which makes normal diplomacy impossible. Despite the fact that US officials such as Blinken continually talk of the need for so-called ‘guardrails’ in the relationship with Beijing, it is quite clear that the US has little interest in cooperating maturely with China, and there is nothing to be gained from such contact from Beijing’s perspective.
China has demonstrated immense diplomatic patience towards the US over the past few years, even as Washington has been venting relentless hostility towards Beijing, including, but not limited to:
accusations of genocide;
blacklisting numerous technology companies;
attempting to crush China’s technological development;
backtracking on its commitment to the One-China policy;
spreading conspiracy theories over the Covid-19 pandemic’s origins;
building new military alliances such as AUKUS, with the intention of containing China;
coercing third-party countries into blocking and rejecting key Chinese investments;
forcing other countries to take sides in an attempt to create a Cold-War-like climate;
whipping up anti-Chinese paranoia and vilification of China in US domestic politics.