The world will be closely monitoring the outcome of the meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi is now in the United States—the first visit in six years. Though the Chinese President is in the US to attend the annual summit of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc, his meeting with Biden at San Francisco on the sidelines of the summit in a few hours will be scrutinised with a fine tooth comb.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the two Presidents will have in-depth communication on issues of strategic, overarching and fundamental importance in shaping China-US relations and major issues concerning world peace and development.
As per reports, announcements on military communications, fentanyl trade among other things are likely to come through as Biden said that the meeting is aimed at getting back on a normal course. Issues including tensions over Taiwan, China’s coercive behaviour in the South China Sea and Beijing’s concerns about US export controls that are designed to slow its military modernisation, the Financial Times said.
Meanwhile on the Taiwan issue, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that it is “China’s internal affair and resolving it is a matter for the Chinese that brook no foreign interference.”
“Speaking of concerns, the US needs to respect China’s concerns and legitimate right to development, rather than emphasizing its own concerns at the expense of China’s interests,” the spokesperson said.
Challenges remain. The much awaited the US led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework – a mega trade pact has made little progress with the all-important issue of trade in the ambit of the pact remaining a knotty area.
Notably, APEC as a whole is reportedly struggling to agree on watered-down language about the Israel-Hamas war, with Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia pushing back on Washington’s more sympathetic stance towards Israel, a long-time ally, the South China Morning Post said.
The APEC summit which will deliberate on issues including digital assets, innovations and financial stability, will kick off amid rallies held in support of Palestine.