No progress was made during the talks between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, but the friendly tone of the virtual meeting indicated that relations between the two sides were turning, which is now only a step back from the heat. Exchange earlier this year.
See here are the major takeaways from the tensions and Xi-Biden talks between the two largest economies in the world.
From the worst to the worst
Relations deteriorated after then-President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese goods in retaliation for Beijing’s unfair trade policies. U.S. Has been complaining about theft or forced transfer of American technology for years and has been campaigning to keep Chinese communications giants, especially Huawei, out of the U.S. and other markets. The Trump administration has also sharply criticized China on human rights issues.
Relations have been strained since Biden took over. At a meeting in Alaska in March, senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi blamed Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, accusing the US of failing to address its own human rights concerns and taking issue with what he said was American. Hypocrisy.
U.S. no. 2 Diplomat Wendy Sherman’s visit to China is equally sour in tone, and the next visit of US Meteorological Representative John Kerry went a little better.
Relations were at an all-time low when Sullivan and Yang met again in Switzerland last month following a phone call between G and Biden. According to the White House, Sullivan made it clear that the United States would seek better engagement at the senior level to ensure responsible competition.
The meeting laid the groundwork for a virtual meeting between G and Biden on Tuesday, and the two have known each other since they were vice presidents. Xi called Biden his old friend “and lamented that they had not met face to face before the 3 1/2 hour talks.
Negotiations should be conducted respectfully, directly, and openly by the U.S.
Causes of Tension
The two sides differ on everything from trade and technology to human rights, autonomous Taiwan, and the South China Sea.
More widely than human rights, Biden expressed concern about Chinese practices in Tibet, the repression in Hong Kong, and the fact that more than a million people have been detained in political rehabilitation camps in the Uyghur homeland of Xinjiang.
Xinhua made no mention of specific human rights issues, but Xinhua quoted China as willing to negotiate human rights on the basis of mutual respect, and we do not justify the use of human rights to interfere in other countries domestic affairs.
Trade relations have also led to tensions in bilateral relations. However, the U.S. official said the issue was not a major part of the conversation. Xi said Beijing opposes the politicization of trade and Washington’s demand for national security to prevent Chinese companies from gaining market access.
Where do they go from here?
Softened rhetoric suggests a big improvement. Depending on whether the two countries can find areas of cooperation and come up with agreements, workaround, or other ways to handle their conflicts, what benefits will accrue.
It’s an important relationship, perhaps the most bilateral relationship in the world, the two largest economies, the two largest militaries, the two largest greenhouse gas emitters, “said Paul Henley of the Carnegie Endowment for World Peace.” But I think we have to be realistic. ”
It is important for the leaders of the two countries to define and set the direction for the relationship, “said Yu Wanley, a professor of international relations at Beijing’s Language and Cultural University.
If nothing else, the summit could have arrested further deterioration in relations, said Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing.