Xi Jinping humbled himself to negotiate with Joe Biden on the away field, writes Ilmari Reunamäki, a foreign journalist who followed the meeting in San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO At the beginning of the year, it was almost impossible to imagine that the Chinese leader Xi Jinping would still travel to the United States this year and meet the country’s president Joe Biden.
China was outraged by the US House Speaker’s trip to Taiwan. The United States, on the other hand, was outraged after discovering a Chinese spy ball in its airspace.
Relations between the countries had sunk worse than they had in several decades, and there seemed to be nothing to discuss.
Months of diplomatic work however, Xi ended up traveling to the United States for the first time since 2017.
Xi has had a difficult year. China’s complete turnaround in corona policy was chaotic. After the opening of society, economic growth fell short of expectations. Xi briefly fired his foreign minister and defense minister for no public reason.
Xi needed a high-profile visit to demonstrate strength to his home crowd.
Biden, on the other hand, wanted to predictability to the relationship. The United States had long pushed for the restoration of communication between the countries’ military leadership.
Communication had been broken for over a year. Last spring, the Pentagon couldn’t get anyone from Beijing to explain when China’s spy ball was flying in the United States.
Biden and Xi were now ready to restore the line so that the movements of the countries’ armed forces, especially in the vicinity of Taiwan, would not accidentally lead to conflict.
Xi, on the other hand, wanted a voice connection to American business leaders. China’s faltering economy needs investments, but Western companies are more reluctant to invest in China than before.
After meeting with Biden, Xi went straight to have dinner with the leaders of the largest American companies. Xi cannot afford to no longer be able to rely on China as an investment environment.
Biden, on the other hand, is worried the country’s ever-worsening fentanyl epidemic. San Francisco spent weeks cleaning fentanyl addicts out of the city center before meeting with leaders.
Xi promised that the country would stop exporting ingredients for fentanyl, which goes especially to Mexico. Biden said the U.S. is watching to keep the promise.
San Francisco’s local media hoped About the meeting between Biden and Xi, a classic like 1945, when the UN Charter was signed in the country.
The meeting won’t become such a classic, but the results exceeded expectations. The superpowers wanted to start negotiating things again instead of a dumb school. It is particularly encouraging that the countries are once again starting to cooperate on climate issues.
For the direction of relationship development the question mark is created by the upcoming US presidential election.
Xi’s visit to Washington would reciprocate Biden’s visit to Beijing, and there doesn’t seem to be time for this before the election.
Xi may reflect that he may never see Biden face-to-face again if Biden loses the election.
Like the whole world, China is also watching and thinking about how things will be negotiated with the United States after November of next year.