US-China presidential meeting
The international politics took a new shift with the rare kind of communication i.e. longest virtual meeting which was held between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, recently. This meeting lasted for about three hours and a half. This is the first ever virtual meeting between the two superpowers heads of state in the history of international relations.
Despite having fierce economic and military competition between China and USA the two sides last week showed a great resilience by holding first face-to-face virtual meeting and dialogues on lingering tensed and sensitive issues in a constructive manner to avoid China-US relations getting derailed and to devise mechanism to strengthen coordination and cooperation on major international and regional hotspot matters to improve conducive atmosphere for furthering bilateral relations between the two major states.
The longest and rare virtual summit is seen as a resort to end trust deficiency between the two states to prevent the world from emerging a new cold war and blocs which could have further divided the globe into nerve breaking conflict leading towards nothing but the disastrous third world war.
The dynamics of incumbent international relations are being buffeted by powerful crosswinds. A striking aspect of pleasant & unusual virtual meeting between China and US is that it has provided a large canvas of emerging and surprising global trends which was in desperate need of international solidarity especially after the common global risk and challenge of the pandemic of Coronavirus. The two major powers have indeed taken a mature initiative for the sake of co-existing international order which could have been eroded due to the intensifying ties between them over various issues especially on Taiwan which in fact is the internal affair of China as Beijing articulated in clear-cut terms, that there is but one China in the world and Taiwan is integral part of China, and the Government of the People’s Republic of?China is the sole legal government representing China. Xi Jinping has categorically stated during the meeting that China won’t budge on the country’s sovereign national and political core issues as it will not tolerate and compromise any intrusion in Taiwan. In a very amiable yet candid tone Xi repeated and emphasized that “if separatist forces for Taiwan independence provoke us, force our hands or even cross the red line, we will be compelled to take resolute measures”.
Joe Biden on the other hand assured and reaffirmed the US government’s long-standing one-China policy, stated that the “US does not support Taiwan independence”, and expressed the hope for peace and stability to be maintained in the Taiwan Straits.
The virtual meeting was an attempt to curtail persisting misunderstandings and to ensure that growing economic competition between the two sides should not veer into military conflict. The global ‘strongmen’ guiding gigantic ships to avoid a crash, though no breakthrough could have been attained through these dialogues but at least both sides agreed to keep opening the communication lines to skip any future deadlock. Virtual teleconference meeting of two leaders is what appears to be a big sign of melting of ice between China and the USA amidst high tensions. Though no concrete foreign policy changes resulted as Joe Biden didn’t hint at uplifting the sanctions and tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on China. Yet both sides’ leadership agreed to work together where their mutual interests intersect, especially on vital global issues like climate change as the relationship between two countries has a huge impact not only on China & US, but on the whole world. Biden administrative is expected to work for a modus vivendi with China
Xi jinping being a world’s strongest and firm leader is very much in a position to make US realize that China only seeks for balance of power and equality and the US era to unilaterally dictate the bilateral ties has ended and the two countries have entered into a period of equal and fair dialogue not hampering each other’s national interests. Interestingly, the virtual meeting conducted during the working hours in China but late night in the US manifests the fact that Washington itself is reluctant to get into any direct tussle/conflict with Beijing due to its declining superpower status. Yet both the super powers are trying to contain and manage competition as it could unleash disruptions with massive global repercussions. The US is in a relatively weaker position after the humiliating withdrawal of US allied NATO forces from Afghanistan after 20 years without achieving its goal to help impose western puppet regime over there under Ashraf Ghani, thus it avoids serious confrontation with China. It is indeed a great and sensible approach on the US side to find a solution for the differences to shun aggressive posture toward Beijing. The signals given to China by US to counter Beijing recently through AUKUS pact, strengthening of Quad, positioning of intermediate range missiles in Guam and Washington active diplomacy in South East Asia, pressure on Pakistan and Italy to withdraw from BRI, screening Chinese investment were quite counterproductive undermining the China’s emerging super power status both economically and militarily. There was a dire need of crisis-management mechanisms and confidence-building measures between the US and China hence virtual summit diplomacy is a first positive step in international relations in the coming 50 years for Beijing and Washington to find the right way to get along to flex the muscles. The Chinese war to end U.S supremacy and U.S fighting to maintain its hegemony globally is an intolerable zero-sum situation. The battle of changing and maintaining the status quo is a non-realistic approach to commence a never ending cold war. There is an urgent urge to mend the fault lines which are quite deep and extensive, and that would prove to be a very lengthy process of seeking very limited areas of cooperation amid a deep sea of tensions in key areas of rivalry between the two nations. The US-China trade has intensified US-China geopolitical rivalry, the tech war of the digital world, Chinese dominated and American-led has been waged and will continue. China through its diplomatic skills has forged deals with US allies which is a “strategic win” of China and US options have shrunk to engage allies more effectively to win “trade war” against China.
US leadership will seriously have to comprehend the reality that the world is no more uni-polar with a number of emerging powers. Beijing and Washington have several opportunities to collaborate on global issues. Development of ties between China and the USA will shape the future of the world. Relative weights of countries are changing rapidly, shaped by day to day events altering the international relations paradigms. Both Beijing and Washington must be mindful to keep the relationship from spiraling further downward and leadership of both sides should demonstrate sportsmanship and steer US’ China relations back on the track of reason and pragmatism.