China's Foreign Ministry Statements Signal Heightened Concern About U.S. Actions in the 116th Congress [August 18, 2020]   [open pdf - 610KB]

From the Introduction: "With the relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC or China) strained on multiple fronts, the two governments have been publicly trading accusations and engaging in sometimes tit-for-tat moves against each other's interests. Amid all the charges and counter-charges, what issues matter most to each side? In the case of China, the government has been using a traditional tool for diplomatic signaling--rare statements in the name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs--to call attention to a handful of U.S. actions that China appears to view with particular concern. In the quarter century since 1995, China has issued 27 Foreign Ministry statements. Reflecting the high level of current tension in the U.S.-China relationship, China has issued four of those statements since November 2019, all related to the United States. Three statements condemned laws passed by the 116th Congress related to China's northwest region of Xinjiang and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and one denounced a May 19, 2020, public statement by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo congratulating Taiwan's president on the start of her second term. Since 1995, China has only once issued four Foreign Ministry statements in a shorter timeframe, in 2016. Since 1995, it has never before issued more than two consecutive Foreign Ministry statements related to a single country. Including a 2018 statement, China has now issued five Foreign Ministry statements in a row related to the United States. The implications of the recent statements are unclear. Some earlier statements preceded sustained Chinese campaigns of military or economic coercion."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11624
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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