China’s rise under President Xi Jinping

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US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in a virtual meeting held on November 16 lasted for more than three and half hours discussed certain issues confronting both the countries. It was long awaited interaction so that world should know what lies ahead peace or confrontation. Undoubtedly China is the largest economy of the world and each day the graph is going up. There have been many ups and downs in relationships between US and China but one aspect that emerged that China wanted mutual and balanced cooperation but no confrontation. Donald Trump’s four years were not that pleasant. Spread of COVID 19 became the bone of contention when Trump blamed China saying virus came from China that was denied immediately by China as China itself was victim of COVID 19 and perhaps first country in the world who took most appropriate measures and precautions to ensure it is controlled and does not spread to other areas. They were successful in controlling it due to strict lock down duly appreciated by WHO.At the same time it helped many countries and provided them free vaccine special dresses for para medical staff and covid related material. The war of words continued and Trump lost the elections and as anticipated Joe Biden won the elections. It was hoped that Biden shall modify the policy with China and a new era of friendship shall take over the Trump policy. Unfortunately Biden also followed Trump’s policies. During meeting President Biden addressed President Xi by saying “You are a major world leader and so is the United States … None of this is a favour to either of our countries – what we do for one another – but it is just responsible leadership.”The issues between the two global powers and largest economies range from Taiwan, navigation in the South China Sea, and cyberspace. Both disagree on how to manage the economies and govern the people of their countries. Both leaders agree to avoid conflicts and the possible cold war and prefer dialogue to resolve the conflicting issues. Both Biden and Xi agree that climate change is a challenge and threat to this planet and the human race. Yet there are a number of issues that do generate competition, hostility, cold war and conflict between China and the US. ‘Currently, US people need the supply line of Chinese goods to remain flowing without any interruption to offset high inflation and price hikes. And China needs the American market open to its products to support its economy and manufacturing industry. Thus despite conflicting requirements both need each other
The virtual meeting between President Biden and President Xi lasted longer than expected but without real breakthrough There was no joint statement, or press briefing at the conclusion of this longest virtual meeting between the two world leaders who talked on a variety of bilateral, regional and global issues – including issues related to North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan.The Chinese state media called this meeting “frank, constructive, substantive and fruitful.” The White House has called this virtual meeting “respectful, straightforward and open”. This reflects resolve of two great leaders to work jointly for the peace and stability throughout the world.Independent scholars say neither side softened or changed its position on any issue that caused tensions between the two countries. Both leaders “talked about everything under the sun; but announced no position or policy steps”,
Both sides agree to build some safety net to avoid conflict and reduce tensions, but they do not prescribe the course of action. Chinese President took a stern stand on Taiwan and also asked the US to return to a “practical and rational” policy towards China, without offering any incentive for that change. Similarly, on US-China trade, neither side made any proposal or policy step to cause any change or improvement.
It is important to mention that President Biden has announced the BBB3- Build Back Better – plan as part of his $1.75 trillion infrastructure plan to restore the US economy, as compared to China’s Belt and Road policy that involves around 70 countries but China has an upper edge
One can raise a question about the purpose and goals achieved through the over three-hour-long meeting without any progress on the bilateral issues. It took 10 months for the Biden Administration to ease tensions and the tough trade measures taken by the Trump administration against China. Measures were taken to rectify the mistakes made during the Trump era, especially the accusations that were made against .Climate change is a common concern of the two leaders. The Glasgow summit was a good venue for the two biggest carbon emitters of the world – China and the US – to deal with an issue of common concern. Ten years ago, when the two leaders met each other for negotiations, both of them were serving as vice-presidents of their countries.
Europe and the US are dependent on China’s supply lines of both consumer and non-consumer goods. In this pandemic-stricken world and era of high inflation and price hikes, China can be neither isolated nor confronted or ignored for its role in today’s global situation.
The only way is to engage China in dialogue, avoid conflict and defer tensions, without changing national positions on various contentious issues. China’s advancement in nuclear weapons, outer space, industry and emergence as a superpower and a giant economy has shifted the power balance to Asia. Both US and China need to adopt the policy of detente. Tensions and conflicting issues need to be deferred through dialogue.
The relations between US and China has remained complex since 1949 after the defeat of Nationalist government of Chiang Kai Shek who alongwith soldiers flee to Taiwan at the hands of Mao Zedong.It was Jimmy Carter US president who gave China full diplomatic recognition acknowledging One China principle and severing ties with Taiwan.It was in April 1979 US approved Taiwan Relations Act allowing commercial and cultural relations between Taiwan and US but did not violate One China policy.
President xi is different than other presidents, his ultimate objective is to provide maximum relief to people especially who are poor and share this idea with rest of the world. To reach other countries and establish direct contact he launched his idea of BRI project (Belt and Road Initiative) in 2013.By launching this BRI he made it open to rest of the countries to willingly join to derive maximum benefits being integral part of BRI. It may be a news to readers in short period of 8 years so far 140 countries have joined Xi’s vision included creating a vast network of railways, energy pipelines, highways and stream lining border crossings, both westward through the mountainous former soviet republics and southward, to Pakistan, India and the rest of South East Asia. Such a network would expand the international use of Chinese currency and break the bottleneck in Asian connectivity.