US President Joe Biden begins a four-day visit to Indonesia today to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit this week. He
US President Joe Biden begins a four-day visit to Indonesia today to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit this week.
He will meet with his Chinese counterpart Chinese Community Party General Secretary Xi Jinping tomorrow prior to the G20 on Tuesday. It will be Biden’s first face-to-face meeting with the Chinese leader since assuming office in 2021.
Biden’s main goal at the G20 is to rally developing countries to support Washington’s strategy of isolation and condemnation of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The G20 is split along geopolitical camps between the anti-Russian West, the pro-Russian BRICS nations and the non-aligned developing nations represented best by Indonesia at this Summit.
It would be much easier for Biden to rally those countries if he could persuade Xi to tacitly support the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine. Although China has refused to criticize the invasion, Beijing has not supplied arms to Moscow either. Beijing’s official line at present is for both Ukraine and Russia to negotiate immediately—a stance echoed by other BRICS nations like India, Brazil and South Africa.
The prospects of China significantly changing its stance on Russia are remote but as Ukrainian forces retake more occupied territory, China’s current policy might well suit Washington anyway.