Restoration of in-person talks between Biden & Xi a subtle shift in Sino-US power dynamics: US media

NewsDrum Desk
17 Nov 2023
New Update

San Francisco, Nov 17 (PTI) The summit meeting restoring in-person talks between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping here seems like a breakthrough and is reflective of a subtle but noticeable shift in the power dynamics between two countries that have spent most of the past few years denouncing, undercutting and imposing sanctions on each other, the US media said.


Biden and Xi met on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.

During their 4-hour-long meeting, they reached agreements on China taking action on fentanyl, resumption of military-to-military communications and the start of discussions on artificial intelligence.

“When President Biden met President Xi Jinping on Wednesday on the edges of Silicon Valley, there was a subtle but noticeable shift in the power dynamic between two countries that have spent most of the past few years denouncing, undercutting and imposing sanctions on each other,” The New York Times reported a day after the meeting.


For the first time in years, a Chinese leader desperately needed a few things from the United States. Xi’s list at the summit started with a revival of American financial investments in China and a break in the series of technology export controls that have, at least temporarily, crimped Beijing’s ability to make the most advanced semiconductors and the artificial intelligence breakthroughs they enable,” the daily wrote.

“All this may explain why Mr Biden’s aides were able to negotiate, fairly quickly by Chinese diplomatic standards, a potentially major agreement on stopping the flow of the chemical precursors for fentanyl to the United States and a resumption of military-to-military communications, critical for two superpowers whose forces bump up against each other every day,” it said.

The Washington Post, however, had a different take on the summit. “Relations between the United States and China have sunk so low that the mere fact that President Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in California on Wednesday seems like a breakthrough. Even with few formal agreements announced, dialogue is preferable to name-calling, and regular communication is better than conflict,” wrote The Washington Post’s Editorial Board.


“But applying such a low bar would sell short the summit’s achievements. Yes, simply restoring in-person talks between the American and Chinese presidents is critical. Mr. Biden later told reporters the two leaders agreed to telephone each other when needed,” it said.

The Post noted that Biden is correct in pursuing robust diplomatic and economic engagement with China.

Agreeing where the two countries can and disagreeing where they must is a better policy than disengagement or, worse, outright confrontation. The United States learned this lesson during the Cold War, ramping up talks with the Soviet Union after the nearly catastrophic Cuban missile crisis, even when the Soviets were more menacing than China is now, it said.

Addressing the APEC CEO Summit, Biden said that the US is de-risking and diversifying its economic relationship with China, not decoupling. “Not decoupling. We’ll be firm in standing up for our values and our interests. And I was very straightforward, as he was with me yesterday,” said the president.

“A stable relationship between the world’s two largest economies is not merely good for those two economies but for the world -- a stable relationship. It’s good for everyone,” Biden said. PTI LKJ NSA AKJ NSA NSA