REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
On Wednesday November 15, 2023, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in San Francisco. It was the Chinese leader’s first visit to the US in six years. The meeting comes at a timely moment of military tensions rising across several corners of the globe.
The two leaders had different objectives going into the discussions. US policy focused on strengthening military communications, regulating artificial intelligence and fighting the US’ fentanyl crisis. Chinese objectives focused on obtaining economic concessions, easing military tensions in the South China Sea region and aiming to appeal to foreign diplomats who usually have no interest in China.
The talks were not without complete ease however, as President Biden insisted that the US and China “are in competition.” The White House address of the meeting relays the idea of Biden holding China to account and ensuring US support to all their “Indo-Pacific allies.”
The meeting produced many discussions on soft diplomacy, such as an increase in “scheduled passenger flights” and exchanges of “educational, student, youth, cultural, sports and business.” There were also discussions on the maintenance of the competitive relationship between the two nations, aiming to “prevent conflict”, “maintain open lines of communication” and “cooperating on areas of shared interests.”
The talks have appeared productive and conducted in good spirits. It has been released that the two leaders shall “follow up on their discussions.” Xi aims to turn the US into an “ally and friend”, according to Reuters, which makes the negotiation of concessions and a more peaceful coexistence far more promising. The talks have seemed a high point of recent US-Chinese relations with the hope that the tensions in the South China Sea of this year can be quelled.
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