US and Chinese Leaders Discuss Rules of Conduct

How did the first long meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping ended? For the first time during his presidency, Joe Biden held lengthy negotiations with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping. The heads of state emphasized the friendly attitude of the meeting, but presented each other with a long list of claims

Joe Biden participates in a virtual meeting with Xi Jinping via video link

Preparing for the talks

On Monday evening, November 15, Washington time (it was already Tuesday morning in Beijing), US President Joe Biden and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping held a video summit. It was the first full-scale talks between the leaders of the world's two largest economies since Biden's inauguration, although they have spoken on the phone twice since then.

The meeting was held in video format & mdash; Xi Jinping has not traveled outside the country since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden and his team gathered in the White House conference room (Roosevelt Room), Xi Jinping switched on from one of the halls of the House of People's Receptions in Beijing.

The teams of both leaders have been preparing for negotiations at the highest level for a long time. Back in March, Alaska hosted a meeting between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Assistant to the President for National Security Jake Sullivan with their Chinese counterparts & mdash; member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCP) Yang Jiechi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi, where the parties toughly discussed extensive mutual claims for two days.

Biden and Xi Jinping at the beginning of the meeting highlighted her friendly attitude. Welcoming his interlocutor, Biden said that he and Xi Jinping have known each other for a long time, since his trip to China in 2011 (then Biden, the US vice president, spent several days talking with Xi Jinping, who was just preparing to take over). “Maybe I should start more formally, although you and I have never been so formal with each other,” & mdash; Biden recalled that time, after which he moved on to pressing problems. “ It appears that our responsibility as leaders in China and the United States is '' to ensure that rivalry between our countries does not turn into conflict, intentional or unintentional. Only simple direct competition & raquo;, & mdash; this is how Biden outlined the current challenge, noting that cooperation could be made on issues of mutual interest, such as combating climate change.

Xi Jinping, pointing out that an online meeting is not as good as a face-to-face meeting, emphasized that he was “ happy to see an old friend. '' In his public remarks, Ozzhe emphasized the commonality of interests: the United States and China, in his opinion, need to increase communication and cooperation.

What were discussed

First of all, Biden expressed concern about the situation in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as the overall problem of human rights observance in China. In all three autonomous regions of the PRC, according to American officials and human rights activists, China is pursuing discriminatory policies, violating the rights of the Uyghur and Tibetan minorities, as well as the rights of civil society activists in Hong Kong. China calls such criticism unlawful interference in internal affairs.

Biden also made clear the need to protect American industry and workers from China's dishonest trade and economic practices. The Chinese approach was also called unfair by Biden's Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, who for this reason introduced a series of trade restrictive measures against Chinese goods. Biden has not given up on this practice yet.

The US President also expressed the need to preserve freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific region and conveyed the continued determination of the United States to fulfill its obligations in the region, reaffirming the importance of freedom of navigation and safe flight to the prosperity of the region. In support of this line under Biden, Washington began to actively develop two multilateral formats of interaction with the countries of the region & mdash; AUKUS (Australia, UK and USA) and Quad (Japan, India, USA, Australia). Beijing criticizes both formats for being anti-Chinese.

The last topic, according to the White House, was the topic of Taiwan (Republic of China). Beijing considers the territory of the island, which it has virtually no control since 1949, as part of the PRC. Biden highlighted his commitment to the One China Principle at the meeting and condemned all unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the region. By signing an agreement in 1979 to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing, Washington agreed that the PRC government is the sole legal representative of the Chinese government, and the US people can maintain cultural, commercial, and other informal relations with the people of Taiwan. But since then, Washington has been actively cooperating with the island government, in particular, supplying weapons there. Xi Jinping said to this that the final reunification of China & mdash; the common aspiration of the entire Chinese people, and Beijing is willing to show patience, but if separatist forces advocating Taiwan independence provoke violence and cross the red line, it will be necessary to resort to “ drastic measures. ''

It is worth waiting for some- then the results

According to US officials quoted by Reuters, the meeting did not end in a breakthrough. “ They seem to have exchanged views on everything in the world, but did not announce any decisions or new political steps. Perhaps this will be done in the near future, but if not, then the meeting became simply a fixation of the positions of the parties. That is, the parties agreed that the relationship needed some protective barriers and stability, but did not agree on how to achieve them, '', & mdash; Scott Kennedy, an expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Reuters. Compared to the period of Trump's presidency, the style has become less offensive, but the essence has not changed, on the contrary, it has become even more articulate, Director General of the Russian Council on International Policy Andrei Kortunov told RBC.

The American strategy in China is similar to the strategy in relations with Russia, it is no coincidence that in many strategic documents that are now being adopted in the United States, Russia and China are mentioned separated by commas & mdash; as the main geopolitical opponents of Washington, Kortunov noted. However, since China is the main strategic adversary, there are nuances: in relations with Russia, Biden proceeds from the fact that it is possible to reduce costs in order to free up forces for a long-term strategic confrontation with Beijing, therefore, in some areas, Washington is ready to allow some concessions to Moscow, for example, he looks turn a blind eye to military-technical cooperation with India, including on the S-400, the expert said.

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