Sheena Chestnut Greitens is an associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, and was a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings. She directs UT's Asia Policy Program, a joint initiative of the Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Her work focuses on East Asia, American national security, and authoritarian politics and foreign policy.
It seems like the administration has tried to keep a clear, consistent tone in terms of being really upfront about the range of U.S. concerns vis-à-vis Beijing’s behavior and about the competitive nature of the relationship overall, and [President Biden's first call with Chinese President Xi] reflects that.
Since [Xi Jinping’s] ascent, we’ve seen more statements about the need to prevent diffusion of political threats from abroad into China. Hong Kong has always been one site where the Chinese Communist Party is particularly sensitive or prone to seeing foreign infiltration aimed at destabilising the party.
One lesson for the future is that American strategy and national security shouldn't depend on or assume transparency from China because it's not an empirically valid assumption to make given the nature and structure of China's domestic politics.