For a reset: The Hindu editorial board on the US-China meeting in Alaska
For a reset: The Hindu editorial board on the US-China meeting in Alaska

For a reset: The Hindu editorial board on the US-China meeting in Alaska

There is no hope of a sudden improvement in US-China ties, but the Alaska summit is a start

There is no hope of a sudden improvement in US-China ties, but the Alaska summit is a start

As top diplomats from the US and China begin their meeting in Alaska, there is no doubt that their conversation will be difficult. The meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Yang Jiechi, member of the CCP’s Politburo and director, Central Foreign Affairs Commission, accompanied by US NSA Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister and Minister of State Wang Yi, comes amid tensions that sprouted during the Trump administration around trade tariffs, 5G telecommunications, technical espionage, Chinese maritime actions and US sanctions against China, and further exacerbated by the pandemic that Mr. Trump called the “China virus.” Biden administration officials have said they will bring up China’s repression in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Chinese aggression against US allies and partners, particularly pressure on Australia over trade bans, aggression against Japan in the Senkaku Islands and even the PLA’s invasion of the LAC, which China regards as bilateral issues. Mr. Blinken opened the Alaska meeting with visits to Seoul and Tokyo, where he promised a US “pushback” to China, and he enters the negotiations with the backing of the recent Quad talks at the summit, with a commitment to ensure a free Indo – Pacific Ocean. China, for its part, is seeking a reversal of Trump-era policies and a structured dialogue to continue ties from the point they have reached, probably their lowest since the Nixon era. In particular, China wants an end to U.S. trade sanctions, restrictions on U.S. companies producing in China and a visa ban, and a reopening of its consulate in Houston.

Clearly, the stage is set for a lengthy broadcast of complaints, and expectations for any breakthrough are low, but the fact that the meeting is taking place at all sends a signal that both sides are ready to engage each other. Sir. Blinken’s statement that the United States will be “competitive when it needs to be, cooperative when it can be and conflicting when it needs to be” with China, chalking up climate change, the COVID-19 challenge and global economic recovery as possible areas discussion. Research cited by the World Economic Forum predicted that the actual US-China tariff war could cost the world $ 600 billion. Afghanistan is another area where the United States and China have held three meetings last year as part of the “troika” with Russia, and a common peace strategy could be another useful conversation. The two sides are expected to discuss a possible summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. While New Delhi has a litany of its own grievances with Beijing, it would also benefit if a “Cold War” between the United States and China was averted, as would the rest of the world, which has found itself akin to the proverbial grass when two elephants fighting.

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