The US-China Summit – Community News
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The US-China Summit

After signing the largest $1 trillion US infrastructure bill in a decade, US President Joe Biden joined Chinese President Xi Jinping in a virtual meeting to discuss issues of common concern. This virtual meeting – held on November 16 – has been the focus of the world’s attention to gauge whether it leads to cooperation or conflict between the world’s two largest economies. US Secretary of State Antony Blinkin has already called the management of US-China relations “the greatest geopolitical test of the 21st century”.

President Biden addressed President Xi by saying, “You are an important world leader and so is the United States … None of this is a favor to any of our countries – what we do for each other – but it’s just responsible leadership.”

The issues between the two world powers and the largest economies range from Taiwan, navigation in the South China Sea and climate change to space conquest, cyberspace, hypersonic missiles, modern nuclear weapons, technology, trade and human rights. Both disagree on how to run the economies and how to run the people in their country. Both leaders agree to avoid conflict and the possible cold war and prefer dialogue to resolve the conflicting issues.

Both Biden and Xi agree that climate change is a challenge and threat to this planet and humanity. Yet there are a number of things that cause competition, hostility, cold war and conflict between China and the US. Both powers cannot afford or wish for a cold war or armed conflict. Both prefer to talk to each other until the ‘right opportunity’.

Currently, US consumers need the supply line of Chinese goods to remain smooth and functional in these days of high inflation and price increases. And China needs the US market that is open to its products to support its economy and manufacturing industry. So despite conflicting ambitions and rival strategies, both are obliged to avoid any clash or conspiracy.

The more than 220-minute virtual meeting between President Biden and President Xi took place in search of common grounds for cooperation in any conflict. The meeting took longer than expected. There was no joint statement, reading or press conference at the end of this longest virtual meeting between the two world leaders who discussed a variety of bilateral, regional and global issues, including issues related to North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan.

The Chinese state media called the meeting “candid, constructive, substantive and fruitful”. The White House calls this virtual meeting “respectful, straightforward and open.”

Independent scientists say there was no substantial progress and both sides reiterated their policies on various issues without any progress. Neither side softened or changed its stance on an issue that sparked tensions between the two countries. Both leaders “talk about everything under the sun; but did not announce a position or policy steps,” said Scott Kennedy, an expert at the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Both sides agree to build a safety net to avoid conflict and reduce tensions, but they do not dictate the course of action. The Chinese president took a stern stance on Taiwan, also asking the US to return to a “practical and rational” policy toward China, without providing any incentive for that change. Likewise, with regard to US-China trade, neither side has made any proposal or policy move to effect any change or improvement.

It is important to note that President Biden has announced the BBB3 plan – Build Back Better – as part of his $1.75 trillion infrastructure plan to rebuild the US economy, compared to China’s Belt and Road policy involving about 70 countries. involved.

One can ask about the purpose and goals achieved by the more than three-hour meeting without any progress on the bilateral issues. It took 10 months for the Biden administration to ease tensions and the Trump administration’s harsh trade measures against China. Steps have been taken to correct the mistakes made during the Trump era, especially the allegations leveled against China for the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Conciliatory statements and gestures from both sides gradually created a non-hostile environment. Climate change is a common concern of the two leaders. The Glasgow summit was a good venue for the world’s two biggest carbon emitters – China and the US – to address a matter of common concern. Ten years ago, when the two leaders met for negotiations, they were both vice presidents of their countries.

Europe and the US depend on China’s supply lines for both consumer and non-consumer goods. In this pandemic-ravaged world and the era of high inflation and price increases, China cannot be isolated, confronted or ignored for its role in the current global situation.

The only way is to enter into a dialogue with China, avoid conflict and postpone tensions, without changing national positions on various controversial issues. China’s advances in nuclear weapons, space, industry and emergence as a superpower and massive economy have shifted the balance of power to Asia. Both the US and China must adopt the policy of detente. Tensions and conflicting issues must be postponed through dialogue. There should be more meetings between China and the US. Nuclear countries can adopt a similar policy of dialogue to delay the threat of conflict, tension and mutual destruction.

The writer is a journalist based in the US.