President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping are set to engage in crucial discussions after a challenging year for the world’s largest economies. The upcoming talks, taking place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, come against the backdrop of strained relations and a myriad of complex issues.
President Biden’s Agenda: Managing Economic Competition and Strengthening Communication
The White House emphasizes that the days of meetings yielding long lists of announcements are behind us. President Biden aims to address the growing economic competition between the United States and China while ensuring open lines of communication to prevent potential conflicts. A key focus is the expansion of export controls on semiconductor chips, with reassurances that the U.S. is not seeking an economic war with Beijing.
Additionally, Biden is determined to reestablish military-to-military ties, considering it in the U.S. national security interest. This move follows a period of halted communication after Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in 2022. The U.S. administration aims to emphasize its commitment to the status quo in Taiwan and discourage any interference in the upcoming presidential elections.
Furthermore, President Biden is expected to urge China to leverage its influence over Iran, particularly concerning actions that could escalate the Israel-Hamas conflict. With the U.S. election approaching, Biden will also make it clear that Chinese interference will not be tolerated.
President Xi’s Expectations: Seeking Assurances and Economic Stability
President Xi Jinping is looking for assurances from Biden on key fronts. He seeks confirmation that the U.S. will not support Taiwan’s independence, will avoid instigating a new cold war, and will not impede China’s economic growth.
This desire for reassurance was evident in the demands made by Beijing during the Group of 20 summit in Bali last November. Xi emphasizes the importance of adhering to previous agreements and avoiding new obstacles in U.S.-China relations. The core issue for Xi remains Taiwan, and he expects strong language from Washington opposing any moves towards the island’s independence.
Xi’s vision for U.S.-China interactions revolves around dialogue and win-win cooperation rather than confrontation. Beijing is keen on avoiding a cold war or geopolitical opposition, as such measures would hinder China’s development. Xi is likely to address American business leaders, aiming to bolster confidence in China as a safe place for investment, a crucial factor in reviving the country’s economy.
As these two leaders engage in discussions, the world watches closely, hoping for progress in managing the complexities that define the U.S.-China relationship.