On Wednesday, The Paper published an interview with Yuan Peng, the president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), on Sino-US relations.
Why we care: CICIR is affiliated with China’s top spy agency, the Ministry of State Security, and has a direct line to top leadership.
Yuan is particularly influential: A US specialist by training, he briefed the Politburo on national security issues in December (see December 14 Tip Sheet).
Yuan is not bullish on bilateral relations:
- He said that the US understanding on contentious issues is so fundamentally different from China’s that “it is often impossible to discuss matters based on their own merits.”
With Sino-US relations seemingly stuck, Yuan thinks that Chinese leaders should focus their attentions elsewhere:
- Yuan advocates for trying to build closer ties with Europe.
Get smart: Yuan’s spot on when it comes to Sino-US relations. The prospects for improvement there look slim.
Get smarter: But Yuan is overly optimistic on China’s ability to win friends in Europe. In much of Europe, attitudes toward China have already hardened, and will be tough to change.
The Paper: 大外交｜袁鹏：中美共通点与分歧点在高层对话期间都已袒露