The White House’s confirmation of Xi-Biden meeting in San Francisco next week has become hot topic in the international media which has also swayed the social media around the globe. Since this meeting has strategic significance in terms of revival of socio-economic relations, removal of consequential geopolitical barriers and converging geostrategic trans-regional spheres, hopefully both leaders will try to stabilize relations for achieving the mutually beneficial propositions.
The objective of the meeting will likely to act as catalyst for further negotiations. The upcoming meeting comes about a year after the two leaders met in person during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia last year.
Since neither the US nor China has intentionally shared any agenda with the media so it is impulsively flooded with lots of guesses, numerous speculations, rumors and conspiracy theories. However, both leaders will likely to discuss the absolutely crucial issue of restoring a U.S.-China military hotline to prevent any escalations between the two countries. Regional experts are optimistic about the outcome of meeting yielding a resumption of high-level military communications and an agreement to address the fentanyl crisis.
It expects that matters pertaining to the U.S.-China bilateral relationship, macro-economic stability, climate change, artificial intelligence, the strategic importance of maintaining open lines of communication, and a range of regional and global issues i.e. continued Russia-Ukraine conflict, Israel-Palestine war and moreover, matter of disagreement i.e. Taiwan, and South China Sea will also be discussed because both countries have a shared interest in global stability and a stable global economy creating immense opportunities and reimbursements for both sides. In addition, maintaining open dialogue with China will gain Biden support from the US public.
Being a responsive player of the international cooperation and global governance China signed a declaration at the AI Safety Summit, hosted by the UK at Bletchley Park, signaling a commitment to an international approach to AI and its use earlier in November.
Naturally, after the Bali summit last year after the meeting of two leaders, hopes were high that the two countries could fix their faulty lines. But due to conflicting realities and false & fake propaganda about the balloon controversy further delayed the Secretary of State Antony Blinken a planned trip to Beijing.
Afterward, the Chinese openness, transparency and diplomatic wisdom encouraged rise of political wisdom and bilateral diplomatic connectivity of Biden’s administration. Since then, a series of meetings between top U.S. and Chinese officials have paved the way for next week’s meeting.
In this connection, Blinken travelling to Beijing in June and meeting with Xi tried to restore the confidence between two sides. The National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan recently meeting with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, in Washington further regularized open channels of communication and dialogue. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Special Climate Envoy John Kerry, CIA Director William Burns and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimando tripped to China in the last six months. The two sides have also launched consultations on arms control, maritime concerns and debt issues which good omen for both the countries. Hopefully, this meeting could cap tension levels and offer some stability for further negotiations.
Obviously, the timing of this meeting is crucial. Both countries are apparently in search of mutual consensus, concessions and accommodations to strike a balance amid strategic competition in an increasingly precarious world. It is indispensable for the U.S. and the west at large to acknowledge that China plays a significant role in determining the course of the relationship and global stability and aim for a workable.
Economically and financially, there is a lot at stake for the international corporations and markets, corporate giants including Apple, Nike, and Caterpillar are heavily reliant on the Chinese market to drive revenue and growth, while China remains the world’s manufacturing epicenter. Thus success of this meeting would be a stimulator for the multinational companies’ growth and trans-regional marketing niches.
In summary, all global stakeholders, countries, communities, investors, and corporation are eager to see US-China cooperation in addressing a range of global issues such as nuclear arms control, climate change, and the regulation of artificial intelligence.
Both countries should follow the philosophy of accommodation that can establish the required boundaries to prevent competition from escalating into conflict, while actively seeking avenues for cooperation on pressing global challenges.
In this connection, the US should discard the role of the ultimate decider and recognize China’s substantial role and responsibility in shaping the intricate dynamics of this relationship.
Nevertheless, the Xi-Biden meeting during the APEC Summit offers an ideal setting for both the countries to rekindle the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, reminiscent of the framework for cooperation that emerged from the previous year’s G-20 meeting in Bali.
The summit offers an opportunity to inject stability into an increasingly precarious world. Both nations must acknowledge their common challenges and seek new areas of cooperation, while considering the priorities of allies, companies, and investors who demand a balanced and nuanced approach to U.S.-China relations.
Last but not least, the San Francisco meeting should rest bilateral strategic priorities, striking a balance between competition and cooperation and setting a new path ideally free from all false and fake propaganda for mutually achieving a prosper, progressive, stable world and sustainable economy and helps in addressing various global challenges rather than exploiting them.
Author: Pakistani expert, executive director of the Center for South Asia and International Studies (CSAIS) Dr.Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan.