President of the U.S.A Joe Biden and leader of China Xi Jinping met for the first time a year after Indonesia. At negotiations in the suburbs of San Francisco, they reached three specific agreements. Ukraine was one of many issues in the negotiations, but not the main one.
“This is very big news for America. I am now in the USA and watching from the inside,” says LIGA.net Vita Golod, Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Association of Sinologists and visiting scholar at the Carolina Asia Center (USA). “Xi’s arrival is being commented on from a positive point of view.”
What did Biden and Xi agree on, what direction will relations between China and the United States take before the elections – briefly on LIGA.net.
WHAT HAPPENED. Negotiations between Biden and Xi lasted four hours. According to the US President, they were among the most constructive.
But three specific agreements were reached.
Main – resumption of military contactswhich China severed in August 2022 following a visit to Taiwan by then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin will talk with his Chinese counterpart as soon as he is appointed, and similar contacts will continue between other commanders, notes AP.
“They (contacts – ed.) were cut off, which caused alarm. This is how accidents happen: [из-за] misunderstandings…” Biden said. “I think we’ve made progress.”
The second is to create a working group to combat drug trafficking. This is important for the United States, where a drug crisis is raging due to the trafficking of fentanyl coming from China through Mexico. “More Americans aged 18-49 die from fentanyl than from guns, accidents or any other cause… This will save lives, and I appreciate Xi’s dedication to this issue,” Biden explained.
The third is to gather experts to discuss the risks of artificial intelligence.
There were other issues, but they remained without concrete agreements.
“We agreed to reach an agreement… This meeting will be a symbolic impetus for a more specific dialogue between departments. Dialogue between leaders is important, but they are already talking when the main work has been done,” explains LIGA.net head of the Institute of American Studies Vladislav Faraponov.
Xi also met with American businesses and assuredthat he wants to be a friend and partner of the United States. This was one of the main goals of the visit for him – to retain American business, to send a message to invest in China, explains LIGA.net Vita Hunger.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT. The leitmotif of the meeting is to compete responsibly so that not a single provocation or misunderstanding leads to a conflict between the United States and China. “This is a very correctly formulated thesis, it can be brought to the fore,” says Golod.
Resumption of military contactsapparently, was the main goal of the negotiations, writes CNN. In the longer term, this is the Biden administration’s desire to conclude an arms control agreement with China, Faraponov believes. This topic is relevant against the background Russia’s exit from similar agreements, the buildup of the PRC’s fleet and nuclear potential, which was noted in the report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States.
“There is a logical desire for the Biden administration to try to conclude something similar with China,” explains the analyst. “Although I am not sure that it will be possible to reach some kind of written agreement before the elections in the United States.”
One of the most important discussions was Taiwan. According to The Independent, Xi is in talks statedthat the fate of the island is the greatest threat to US-China relations.
Biden confirmed commitment to the one China policy, but the reunification of the island with the PRC must be peaceful. The United States is concerned about China’s military buildup around Taiwan and will continue to arm it to defend itself.
You are in the answer called stop arming Taiwan and assured that China “has no immediate plans for military action against Taiwan in the coming years.” He hopes for a peaceful reunification, but at the same time outlined the conditions under which he could use military force.
In general, the parties remained at their positions, says Faraponov: “The meeting was supposed to give the Biden administration an understanding of whether Xi really intends to attack Taiwan. If so, then change its own plan of action.”
And the Chinese leader wanted to once again hear assurances that the White House supports the policy of one China, notes Golod: “Next, we need to see whether there will be any provocations in the Taiwan Gulf.”
Ukraine walked in the pool discussions of conflict zones. Together with the call of the PRC influence Iran on the issue of Israel’s war against Hamas, discussion of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
According to AP, in the context of Ukraine, Biden once again called on China not to arm Russia. The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded without details named his policy towards Ukraine is consistent and said that it will not change.
“That is, nothing concrete,” says Golod. “But I think the fact that the Chinese leader is now in the United States is proof that, at the very least, China will not arm Russia. Otherwise, it would be suicide.”
The Biden administration says a lot that China should not help Russia, because it sees this as a threat to itself, Faraponov notes.
“If you miss the moment of rapprochement, then an economic alliance can develop into a military alliance,” he says. “Alone, the PRC and the Russian Federation do not pose an existential threat to the United States, but if together, they will come as close as possible to this. This is the common position of both Democrats and Republicans.” .
The fly in the ointment could be Biden’s statement that he will continue call Xi a dictator, since he alone rules under the communist regime. This caused discontent Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. The facial expression of the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during this phrase was eloquent.
Biden’s response was aimed primarily at a domestic audience, Faraponov said. Republicans are speaking out harshly about China ahead of the election, and ex-Pres. Donald Trump calls himself the toughest against Beijing. Biden also needs something to show.
“Biden is on the election campaign,” adds Golod. “I don’t think there will be any condemnation that Xi will leave the United States at night. I think that this will be ignored – and there will not be any aggravation.”
WHAT’S NEXT. The United States will continue to compete with China, Biden emphasized. But after the meeting, lost contacts should be resumed. “Trust, but verify,” Biden described his relationship with Xi.
“They already have the opportunity to call each other. That is, every provocation, I think, will be accompanied by a call,” says Golod.
But there may be “black swans” that could undermine diplomatic efforts. A new unexpected visit by one of the politicians to Taiwan or new balloon over US nuclear bases, says Golod.
The election process may also push Biden to make tougher statements or actions on China, Faraponov is convinced.
A year before the election, Republicans are actively discussing China’s military buildup and criticizing Biden. And one of his possible competitors, Florida Governor Ron de Santis, even limited the purchase of land and real estate by the Chinese in his state.
“Republicans will use [вопрос Китая] as an opportunity to criticize Biden,” he explains. “This will definitely force the Biden administration to be tougher, even despite these contacts and efforts.”
China will behave in a balanced manner during the election year in the United States, Golod believes: “It is unclear what the US policy will be… China will monitor the actions of the United States so that there are no radical trips to Taiwan.”
But strategically, China will strive to be equal to the United States, the scientist says. To do this, he will expand his zone of influence in the Global South and may use the issues of Russia and the DPRK as leverage.
This meeting will be rethought in the future, Golod sums up: “China thinks in long terms. The strategic goal is to reach the level of the United States somewhere by 2049. Will the United States give it such an opportunity? Will China succeed? This is a question. But China is very keen strives for this.”
Read also: Briefly | On the verge of nuclear war. The US is preparing for simultaneous conflicts with China and Russia: document
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