US – China Become Warm and Cosy, Dialogue and Diplomacy
In recent months, the US and China have been inching towards each other through continuous dialogue, negotiations and diplomacy. The Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi visited the United States last month to lay the groundwork for the participation of President Xi Jinping in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco from November 14 to 17, and the meeting between the Chinese and US leaders. This will be the first meeting between the US President Joe Biden and Jinping since the G20 summit in Indonesia in 2022.
While both countries are pushing for positive bilateral relations, Washington’s toxic anti-Chinese policies and politics cannot be overlooked. The Biden administration has been pushing and pulling the Chinese, and now its positive attitude toward Jinping is not going down well with fellow lawmakers in the US.
One of the vocal critics is Nikki Haley, a former UN ambassador and 2024 US Presidential candidate, who said Biden begged for this meeting with the Chinese President. “He sent four Cabinet members to China to go and try and court the Chinese. And so now they’re going to grant him a meeting. What he should talk about in the meeting is the fact that they have to stop murdering Americans by sending fentanyl. They have to stop stealing our intellectual property so that they can build up their military. They have to tell us why they’re putting a military and spy base in Cuba just off our shores.”
It will be not be easy for Biden.
US and China Rebuilding Trust
After intense rivalry and sanctions, both countries are trying to rebuild trust. Washington and Beijing are working to normalize bilateral ties. Moreover, the US reiterated its commitment to the one-China policy, but it remains to be seen whether Washington will again use Taiwan for political mileage.
The US said it doesn’t seek decoupling from China, and the Biden administration has extended the agreement between the two countries on cooperation in science and technology by six months. China has signed agreements to make its first bulk purchase of US agricultural products in six years. Both countries are also engaged in primary-level dialogue and communication.
But a lack of strategic mutual trust has prevented the two sides from reaching a consensus on any issue, given that the US is yet to take any substantial action to rebuild mutual trust. The US and China have been embroiled in a long-term contest for global supremacy, both wanting to shape the global order.
US and China Should Acknowledge Each Other
Dewardic McNeal, a former Obama Administration appointee to the US Department of Defense, says while the US has stressed the necessity of equilibrium, China has been hesitant to fully embrace the idea of simultaneous competition with guardrails and cooperation in areas of shared interests and common threats.
“There are indications that China may be increasingly receptive to this concept, but the outcome of the meeting between Xi and Biden will be pivotal in determining whether the two powers are on the path toward an accommodation that can establish the required boundaries to prevent competition from escalating into conflict.”
McNeal believes there must be avenues for cooperation on pressing global challenges. He said the US must acknowledge that China plays a significant role in determining the course of this relationship. “While the US often appears to assume the role of the decider, it is crucial to dispel this notion and recognize China’s substantial role and responsibility in shaping the intricate dynamics of this relationship.”