US-China seeks to stabilize relations amid US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific
US-China seeks to stabilize relations amid US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific

US-China seeks to stabilize relations amid US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific

At a long-awaited virtual summit on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden sought to ease tensions in bilateral relations amid outright talk and strong words on some contentious issues, including Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific and trade issues. According to a White House press release, President Biden told his Chinese counterpart about the continued will of the United States to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The bite reiterated the importance of free navigation and safe overflight for the region’s prosperity, the readout said. In their first face-to-face virtual meeting that lasted more than three hours, both leaders tried to emphasize their personal relationships and tried to find ways to work with each other and avoid conflicts and jointly respond to global challenges such as climate change and energy security.

They also issued strong warnings about Taiwan’s future, with President Xi saying those who supported Taiwan were “playing with fire”. The White House reiterated long-standing U.S. policy that does not recognize Taiwan’s independence but supports the defense of the island. President Joe Biden said the United States remains committed to “a China” policy, but “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” The meeting was held amid deteriorating conditions and rising tensions between the United States and China.

According to the White House, Biden had raised concerns about human rights, including the situation in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, China’s “unfair” trade practices and its aggressive behavior across the Indo-Pacific. Biden was “clear about the need to protect American workers and industries from China’s unfair trade and economic practices,” the statement said. Biden also stressed “the importance of managing strategic risks”. He pointed to the need for “common sense to ensure that competition does not conflict and to keep the lines of communication open”. Xi said the two countries needed to improve “communication” and meet challenges “together”. The two leaders also discussed climate change, health security and global energy security. Biden and Xi also exchanged views on key regional challenges, including the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear issue.

This meeting was also held at a time when the United States and China had just reached an agreement at COP26, meeting at the G20 and APEC summits. Dr. Huiyao Wang, an adviser to China’s cabinet and head of a prominent Chinese think tank Center for China and Globalization, said: “I do not expect this one summit to bring us back to the good old days at once, but it can stop it. downward spiral in relations. ” He added that high-level diplomats from both sides were asked to meet again to discuss trade, climate change, global governance and many other issues, including Afghanistan and other geopolitical issues.

He said it sent a strong signal to the world that US and Chinese leaders were looking for ways to stabilize their relationship. This will certainly help reduce tensions between the US and China, but also stabilize China’s relations with neighboring countries, with India, with South Asia and even across the Taiwan Strait. China has been critical of the US-led QUAD group, which includes India, Japan and Australia. China and India have been at a border crossing point in eastern Ladakh for the past twenty months. India has demanded a complete withdrawal from China on all friction points, but the latest round of military negotiations has failed to reach a solution. Prof. Wang Dehua at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies said that the strategic impact of this summit on international relations is great and it is very good news in the context of South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.

In terms of trade issues, Biden strongly raised the travel-related issues for U.S. business that China said it agreed to maintain, according to official readings, but it also said the U.S. should adopt responsible macroeconomic policies. Xu Heqian, director of the International Desk at Caixin media, said the international community is concerned about the continued peaceful coexistence of the two global economies. He cautiously said that we need to be prepared and anticipate (for exchanges to become consensus). It depends on whether Biden and his team can exercise leadership over the entire U.S. political system so that the consensus reached at the head of state meeting can be translated into a push to put US-China relations back on track, he added.

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