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BALI, Indonesia – One of President Joe Biden’s favorite anecdotes has to do with meeting Chinese Xi Jinping when they were vice presidents of their nations more than ten years ago.
Biden estimates that he has had more than 67 cumulative face-to-face hours during visits to Washington and Beijing and at world summit meetings. “I know Xi Jinping. I have spent more time with him than with any other world leader. I know him well. He knows me,” Biden said in Cambodia on Sunday. Biden is optimistic about their ability to rekindle their relationship at a high-stakes G-20 summit of major world economies in Bali or at least come to a point of mutual understanding about how not to cross each other’s boundaries.
“I’ve always had direct conversations with him,” Biden said. “There is never, any miscalculation as to what each of us, where we are.”
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What is the risk?
A lot has changed since Biden traveled to Beijing to meet Xi in 2011 and Xi made his 2012 reciprocal visit to Washington. Xi called Biden a “friend” during the Democrat’s trip to China, and Biden told Xi he was “impressed” by his host’s understanding of history, openness and candor.
The United States now sees China as its main strategic and economic competitor, and experts fear the relationship is on the brink of an abyss. “China-US tensions are at a pretty big boiling point,” says Erin Murphy, senior researcher 온라인카지노 on the economics program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Although the leaders have spoken five times by phone or video conference since Biden took office in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, this is their first in-person meeting with leaders from both nations.
What Biden wants to face
At least four problems are likely to arise:
Taiwan: Biden said she will express concern about Xi’s desire to reunify China with Taiwan.
Fair Trade: The president plans to initiate an in-depth discussion with Xi on maintaining access to free and fair trade in Southeast Asia. Climate change: Following a UN climate change summit in Egypt, Biden is also expected to push China to act faster to reduce its methane emissions.
North Korea: Biden also wants Xi to exert his influence on North Korea, which has been testing missiles near the border of its US ally and Chinese trading partner South Korea. The importance of Biden’s meeting with Xi
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“They are not going to solve all the problems in the world in this meeting,” said Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee. But Biden’s ally said the conversation still matters to leaders. “The security of the world depends on the existence of a communication channel between the United States and China for the next decade,” Murphy said. Murphy said China will decide its Taiwan policy based on a multitude of factors, and talks with the US are just one of them.
Biden’s team also tried to keep expectations for the meeting low, warning that deals on burning issues are unlikely to emerge from the summit. “I think the president sees this not as the end of the line, but as the beginning of a series of commitments that will also include more meetings between leaders in the future.” the president’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters during Biden’s flight to Cambodia on Saturday morning.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference ahead of the meeting that Xi intends to demonstrate what he sees as the right path for bilateral relations. “It is important for the United States to work together with China to properly manage differences, promote win-win cooperation, avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations, and put Sino-US relations on the right path to healthy and stable development,” he said.
Biden’s history with China
The United States and China re-established formal ties in 1979. It was also during that year that Biden made his first visit to the Communist country as part of a delegation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He would continue to preside over that panel. Biden would later assess, during his 2011 trip to meet Xi, that the relationship between the two nations would be of vital importance.
“In fifty years, in 100 years, historians and scholars will judge us on the possibility of establishing a strong, permanent and friendly working relationship or not,” she said. Xi continued to accumulate and consolidate power within the Communist Party only after Biden’s comment. Xi recently won a third five-year term as president.