President Joe Biden is set to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping Monday, as tensions between Beijing and Washington have mounted.
The planned virtual meeting will be the third discussion between the pair since Biden took office at the start of the year, and the first since news outlets detailed in mid-October that China had in August tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile — causing alarm among US intelligence authorities.
They talked most recently on Sept. 9, when Xi repelled Biden’s request for an in-person conversation determined to ease tensions between the world powers. The leaders didn’t talk about the COVID-19 pandemic during the call, as indicated by the White House.
The Monday meeting comes on the heels of the US testing Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system on Guam, because of military officials’ worry about potential China launching missile tests and attacks. Furthermore, the discussion comes after the US Holocaust Memorial Museum declared Tuesday that it found proof that there is “a reasonable basis” to believe that previously asserted crimes against humanity against the Uighurs are expanding.
Last week, the White House promised Biden will be “candid” with Xi with regards to America’s “concerns” with China’s government.
“The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC, as well as ways to work together where our interests align,” press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday in a statement. “Throughout, President Biden will make clear US intentions and priorities and be clear and candid about our concerns with the PRC.”
Psaki declined to say whether Biden will during Monday’s call broach the subject of China’s handling of Covid or its unknown origins while demanding “the president’s certainly not going to hold back” on issues regarding which he is concerned.
Xi, as far as concerns him, has focused on the significance of “cooperation” between China and America.
“Right now, China-US relations are at a critical historical juncture.
“Both countries will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation,” Xi wrote recently in a letter addressed to the National Committee on US-China Relations. “Cooperation is the only right choice.”
On Saturday, reps from China and the US were among almost 200 countries to agree on helping efforts to battle environmental change, in an uncommon moment of unity between the adversaries.
In any case, a few specialists don’t expect the meeting will be especially fruitful.
“Overall, in both Washington and Beijing, the expectation of convergence is pretty much dead,” Scott Moore, director of China programs and strategic initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Guardian. “Instead, the relationship has become more transactional.”
“For Biden, he is facing political challenges at home with the midterm elections looming [next year]. Therefore, he will likely face political constraints in terms of taking any actions that could be perceived or characterized as making significant concessions to China,” Moore purportedly clarified. “For Xi, his biggest vulnerability is on the economic front. That’s why Beijing has been signaling its interest in making progress on trade. Recent comments from Biden administration officials suggest there is interest in engaging on these issues, but again there are likely to be significant political constraints.”
A senior US official told its dubious Biden would leave away with the meeting with recognizable results.
“This is not about seeking specific deliverables or outcomes,” the official reportedly said. “As we compete with the PRC, President Biden expects President Xi and the PRC to play by the rules of the road—and he will make that point throughout the meeting.”
It’s possible Biden and potential different presidents will be talking with Xi, who expected to be his post in 2012, for the foreseeable future.
On Thursday, leaders of China’s ruling Communist Party passed a resolution that permits him to remain in office through at least 2027.