Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping to hold virtual US-China summit

Image: FT

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will meet under a highly anticipated virtual summit today.

The summit comes amidst tensions over security, the US-China trade relationship, human rights abuses and more. Most notably, President Biden recently abandoned the US’ long-held position of strategic ambiguity in regards to Taiwan, stating that the US would intervene if China attempted to take the island by force.

Some bright spots still exist in the relationship though, with the two countries recently signing a climate change pact.

On Taiwan and human rights, expect Xi to assert the US stop meddling in China’s ‘internal affairs.’ This may not sway Biden’s stance, but the US has largely eased its diplomatic pressure on China’s human rights abuses and even agreed to abide by the “Taiwan agreement.”

On trade, former President Trump’s trade war will likely be firmly put to an end on today’s call, following similar restrictions on the EU and South Korea being eased.

Long-term, it is unclear if bilateral dialogue can continue while China’s aggressive foreign policy upsets international security.

On balance, expect a rhetorically more civil exchange between Biden and Xi, including a willingness to engage on critical international issues such as climate change.

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