Biden and Xi Meeting: What You Need to Know About the Summit!

USA and China have endeavored to make a few changes in their relations with the much anticipated Biden and Xi Meeting. US President Joe Biden and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping agreed on Wednesday to open a presidential hotline, wherein topics such as military-to-military communication and curbing fentanyl production were in focus. Furthermore, this has been the first face-to-face talk in about a year. 

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met for several hours on the outskirts of San Francisco to partake in talks relating to US-Chinese relations, solve differences and also talk particularly about Taiwan. 

US President Joe Biden went on to say that the  dialogue between the leaders was ” some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had”

So going by this itinerary, what were the key issues discussed by the 2 superpowers in the meet-up?

Here they are:

US & China to resume military communications:

As of August 2022, military contact has been severed between the 2 nations after a visit by the House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi.

However, they seem to have come to an agreement as both nations have agreed to resume military-to-military communication. The defence secretary, Lloyd Austin is set to speak to his Chinese counterpart as soon as someone is appointed as per his official statement. 

However, Biden had the last word in the Biden and Xi meeting when he said to Xi that such communications between the USA and China are to be institutionalized as they are “not done as a gift or as a favor to either side.” 

Disagreements concerning Taiwan:

Biden and Xi meeting discussed the conflict in Taiwan

One of the most integral topics that was up for discussion was Taiwan. Joe Biden and Xi meeting held a “clear-headed” yet non-heated discussion on sensitive topics concerning Taiwan. US President Joe Biden had reaffirmed that the US’s ” One China” policy and the belief enshrined with it was to be peaceful.

He confirmed that as per the discussions that took place between Biden and Xi meeting, the Chinese government is “not expected to interfere” in the elections. 

However, one of the topics of tension between the 2 was regarding arming Taiwan. Concerning Taiwan, Xi had warned Biden to stop arming Taiwan with ammunition according to a readout from China’s foreign ministry. He went on to say that instead of arming them, the US should support peaceful reunification. 

However, Biden strongly reiterated that the US would continue to arm Taiwan as a deterrent. They further affirmed that strategic ambiguity will be maintained concerning the protection of Taiwan in the event of an invasion by Beijing. 

Curbing of Fentanyl Production:

Talking about drug overdoses and curbing in the United States, there was an important discussion that took place. 

Biden and Xi meeting had agreed that China would endeavor to stem the export of items related to the production of the opioid fentanyl which is considered to be a leading cause of drug overdoses in the US. 

Under the Agreement, China would go directly after the specific chemical companies making fentanyl precursors, a senior US official told reporters. 

In an interesting conversation by a reporter when he asked “Whether or not you trust Xi in the context of joint effort to reduce the flow of fentanyl”, Biden reverted saying “I know the man, I know his modus operandi, he’s been straight with us”.

Influencing Iran and Russia:

The Biden and Xi meeting also focused on resolving disputes relating to Israel Hamas war and Russia vs Ukraine conflict.

The Israel-Palestine conflict and the Ukraine-Russia war have waged on for quite a long time and have created a lot of issues on a global scale. 

In their private session, Biden had appealed to Xi to use his influence to try to calm global tension, and try to pressure Iran not to escalate the conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

However, we are still in ‘fog city’ as a US official said that Biden did most of the talking on the matter and that Xi had mostly listened to the conversation. He also further enumerated that it was too soon to tell what sort of message China was sending to Taiwan and how it was being received. 

In a final stretch of Biden’s conversation, he also pressed Xi to continue to withhold military support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Lifting of Sanctions on China: 

Xi’s entry into San Francisco was at a crucial time when economic challenges existed back in China, wherein population deficits and growing debt have hampered its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the description provided by Beijing, Xi had pressed Biden to lift sanctions and change policies on the export control for sensitive equipment. As per the readout “Stifling China’s technological progress is nothing but a move to contain China technological progress is nothing but a move to contain China’s high-quality development and depriving the Chinese people of their right to development. “

However, there is no indication that Biden would agree to any of the de-sanctioning measures. However, the Biden and Xi meeting ended on a positive note thereby calming nerves in China about receding foreign investment. 

A Note from Commodity Samachar:

China has been facing issues concerning its FDI inflows this year and hence, a meeting like this was crucial. Commodity Samachar’s Head of Research, Ankit Kapoor had this to share about the most recent meeting. 

“ China is a strong entity and it has a certain influence in the market, however, their main focus will be to maintain and hopefully stabilize relations with the US. Even though the US has requested China to not interfere in the Taiwan elections, there has been no affirmation given by China. The discussions with China are set to continue moving forward as the US needs ‘Made in China’ products and China requires the cooperation of the US for the same. 

Ankit Kapoor, Head of Research at Commodity Samachar

With more competitors arising against China in the global markets like India and Mexico, the US will maintain their relations with China. 

Even Though the China FDI inflow looks bleak this year, within the coming 3 years, China will regain a robust momentum.”

Commodity Samachar
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