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Biden-Xi Encounter Paves Way for Improved Relations, Despite Persisting Tensions

by Joshua Brown
4 comments
Biden-Xi Meeting

The recent meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, while not resolving significant geopolitical conflicts, has seemingly stabilized the deteriorating ties between the two dominant global powers. This is particularly significant in light of their competition for influence, especially in developing countries.

Despite unresolved issues ranging from trade disputes to the U.S.’s support for Taiwan and concerns over human rights in areas such as Tibet, Sichuan, and Hong Kong, the gathering marked a notable step towards mending relations. The leaders’ four-hour interaction in a country estate in northern California, which included a luncheon and a garden walk, symbolized their commitment to coexistence despite their competitive stance.

Xi Jinping’s remark to Biden, “Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed,” encapsulates the meeting’s underlying message of possible co-prosperity.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry welcomed this development, emphasizing the U.S.’s stance on peaceful resolution of issues concerning Taiwan. Jeff Liu, the spokesperson, expressed appreciation for Biden’s reaffirmation of this stance during his talks with Xi.

In South Korea, the summit elicited mixed reactions, reflecting concerns about the ongoing U.S.-China rivalry and its impact on Seoul’s relationship with its key ally, the U.S., and its largest trading partner, China. The growing nuclear threat from North Korea adds complexity to South Korea’s position, especially in light of China’s reluctance at the U.N. Security Council to impose stronger sanctions on Pyongyang.

The Biden administration’s restrictions on advanced chip technology sales to China have also affected South Korea’s technology sector, although recent U.S. policy adjustments have provided some relief.

South Korea’s Kookmin Ilbo newspaper highlighted that any significant improvement in U.S.-China relations could influence global supply chains and the strategic alignment involving North Korea, China, Russia, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan.

Japan, meanwhile, is focused on resolving issues with China, including the seafood ban linked to the Fukushima incident, and on fostering a stable Japan-China relationship, as stated by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Disputes over the East China Sea islands and the South China Sea, along with China’s economic slowdown post-pandemic restrictions, continue to shape these dynamics. Madoka Fukuda, a Tokyo-based expert, suggests China’s aim in these talks is to ease U.S. trade restrictions to revitalize its economy and assert its global power status.

Differences over issues such as the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait security, Beijing’s support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and alliances with countries like Iran, however, persist.

China’s Foreign Ministry objected to Biden’s labeling of Xi as a “dictator,” calling it a mischaracterization. Nonetheless, the renewal of military dialogues between the two nations is seen as a significant step towards preventing accidental conflicts.

In Beijing, there’s hope for reduced tensions with the U.S., impacting everything from education to employment opportunities for its citizens.

Despite low initial expectations, the leaders’ meeting could signify a tentative improvement in U.S.-China relations, though challenges remain, as noted by Dimitar Gueorguiev of Syracuse University.

Contributions to this report were made by Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Caroline Chen in Beijing for Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden-Xi Meeting

What was the outcome of the recent Biden-Xi meeting?

The meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping did not resolve major geopolitical issues but stabilized the deteriorating U.S.-China relations, especially regarding trade, human rights, and U.S. support for Taiwan.

How did Taiwan react to the Biden-Xi meeting?

Taiwan welcomed the meeting, particularly appreciating the U.S. stance on the peaceful resolution of issues concerning Taiwan, as reiterated by President Biden.

What are South Korea’s concerns regarding the U.S.-China rivalry?

South Korea is apprehensive about the U.S.-China rivalry, especially in balancing its relationship with the U.S., its military ally, and China, its largest trade partner. Seoul is also focused on North Korea’s nuclear threat and the impact of U.S.-China tensions on its technology sector.

What issues are Japan focusing on in its relations with China?

Japan is concentrating on resolving the Chinese ban on Japanese seafood, linked to the Fukushima incident, and maintaining a stable Japan-China relationship amid disputes over the East China Sea islands and South China Sea.

What are the future prospects for U.S.-China relations following the Biden-Xi meeting?

While the meeting has improved relations, significant challenges remain, including disagreements over the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait security, and China’s support for Russia and Iran. The resumption of military dialogues is seen as a step towards preventing accidental conflicts.

More about Biden-Xi Meeting

  • Biden-Xi Meeting Highlights
  • Taiwan’s Response to US-China Summit
  • South Korea’s Stance Amid US-China Tensions
  • Japan’s Focus in China Relations
  • Future of US-China Relations Post Biden-Xi Summit

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4 comments

John Smith November 16, 2023 - 6:22 pm

interesting article, but feels like it’s missing some depth on the south china sea issue, could’ve gone deeper into that.

Reply
Emily Johnson November 16, 2023 - 10:37 pm

great summary, but there’s a typo in the Taiwan section, “affirms” should be “confirmed”, right?

Reply
Mark Lee November 17, 2023 - 1:13 am

Biden and Xi finally meeting, that’s big news! hope they sort out those trade issues soon, it’s been dragging on for too long

Reply
Sarah Green November 17, 2023 - 6:24 am

good overview but why no mention of the environmental impacts? these big meetings should address climate change too.

Reply

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