US-China Summit Ends with No Breakthroughs, Biden Calls Xi Jinping a Dictator
In a highly anticipated summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, held on the sidelines of the APEC summit, no significant outcomes were achieved. The meeting, which lasted for about four hours, only reaffirmed the existing differences between the two nations, leaving no room for big diplomatic breakthroughs.
While the initial interaction between Biden and Xi was relatively friendly, with the two leaders taking a walk together and sharing a joke about a photograph from over 30 years ago, the tone inside the summit room was different. The issue of Taiwan, one of the major sticking points between the two nations, was discussed candidly. Xi Jinping emphasized that Taiwan was the biggest and most dangerous issue, hinting at the possibility of invasion. China’s repeated provocative drills near the island have increased concerns, and Xi Jinping’s previous orders for his army to prepare for war have only heightened these fears.
On the trade front, China expressed numerous grievances, with Biden having restricted American investments in China. Xi Jinping highlighted that these restrictions have damaged Chinese interests, and given the current state of the Chinese economy, this issue was particularly important to him. With slower growth, widespread unemployment, and investors fleeing due to crackdowns, Xi Jinping is in need of a lifeline. However, the summit did not provide any relief from sanctions. Both sides have only agreed to expand dialogue.
The lack of trust between the two leaders was apparent throughout the summit. When asked about his trust in Xi Jinping, Biden responded with I trust but verify, reflecting the competitive relationship between China and the United States.
Despite the lack of significant outcomes, some progress was made. The US and China will resume military dialogue, enabling Biden to directly speak with Xi Jinping on the hotline. They also discussed the situation in West Asia, with Biden expressing concern about the risk of a wider regional conflict. He urged Xi Jinping to engage with Iran to emphasize the risks and avoid a bigger conflict. Chinese officials have indicated their willingness to engage with Iran.
In conclusion, the US-China summit failed to deliver on major diplomatic breakthroughs. While efforts were made to address issues such as Taiwan and trade, the lack of trust between the two leaders was evident. The resumption of military dialogue and the agreement to engage with Iran were minor steps forward. However, the unresolved tensions between the US and China remain a challenge, and it is uncertain whether corporate America can rescue China’s economy or repair the damaged ties with Washington.