US President Joe Biden with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Woodside, California, November 15, 2023 (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty)
I joined BBC Radio Scotland to analyze Wednesday’s meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
I note that both the American and Chinese Governments are declaring a productive meeting. Advances are reported on China’s crackdown on fentanyl production, measures over artificial intelligence, and the establishment of a communications channels between the militaries of the two countries.
The sharpest exchange was on the issue of Taiwan, but both sides observed the “rules of the game”. While Xi said the island will eventually be re-integrated into the Chinese system, he emphasized that this would be a “peaceful” process. Biden reiterated that the US will not recognize Taiwan as independent.
Can this move away from confrontation and towards “constructive competition”, if not co-operation, continue?
Xi is not going to say, “Goodness, gracious me, Joe Biden called me a dictator.” What is far more to the Chinese is “Where are we on the specific military, economic, technological issues?”