Taiwan in focus as US seeks to keep away from a battle with China
“I don’t count on tariffs to be one thing that will likely be on the agenda for tomorrow night time,” a senior Biden administration official informed reporters on Sunday throughout a background briefing on the extremely anticipated video name.
Requested whether or not Biden and Xi would focus on the present world provide chain disaster, the official stated it was additionally “not one thing I count on to be a major level of debate.”
They famous, nonetheless, that there will likely be “plenty of financial points and different questions” that Biden and Xi “will contact on by way of the course of the dialog.”
Nonetheless, convincing the US to raise the tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump on roughly $370 billion price of Chinese language-made items is a significant coverage precedence for Beijing.
It’s also a purpose embraced by the U.S. enterprise neighborhood, which has pressed the Biden administration for practically a yr to raise the tariffs.
Given how excessive profile the U.S.-China commerce and tariff wars have been, information that they’d not be excessive on Monday’s agenda was surprising.
Enterprise leaders are additionally more likely to be stunned that Biden and Xi do not plan to dedicate a major period of time to the unprecedented world provide chain disruption, which has its roots within the Covid-19 pandemic however continues to worsen.
Up to now, the White Home has refused to supply many concrete particulars about Monday’s agenda.
The senior aide stated the assembly would doubtless final “a number of hours,” and that Biden and Xi would converse by way of interpreters, however refused to say who could be attending with the president, or how the “summit” could be structured.
One factor is evident, nonetheless: Rising tensions between mainland China and Taiwan will likely be a precedence for the US.
China has been scaling up navy workout routines close to Taiwan in current months, a present of pressure that has not gone unnoticed by the Biden administration.
“Our coverage [towards Taiwan] has been constant and stays constant and I count on the president to reaffirm that,” the official stated.
“I am not going to additional predict what the president goes to say tomorrow night time, however I actually count on it to be a subject of dialog tomorrow night time,” they added.
White Home aides have stated a purpose of the summit is to make sure that what it calls “intense competitors” with China doesn’t result in battle.
“We need to clarify our intentions and our priorities to keep away from misunderstandings,” the official stated. “The president can even clarify that we need to construct widespread sense guardrails to keep away from miscalculation or misunderstanding. That is the way you maintain accountable competitors.”
Biden additionally intends to debate China’s human rights file on the assembly.
Beijing has drawn worldwide condemnation for its “intensive program of repression” in opposition to members of its Uyghur Muslim minority ethnic group. This contains compelled labor, the mass incarceration of over 1,000,000 individuals in “reeducation” camps and the alleged sterilization of Uyghur ladies, as reported by information media and the U.S. State Division. Beijing denies that it violates Uyghurs’ human rights.
In March, the US and its allies imposed sanctions on a number of officers in Xinjiang Province, the normal homeland of the Uyghur individuals. Secretary of State Tony Blinken has labeled the remedy of Uyghurs in China a “genocide.” Biden has stopped wanting utilizing this phrase, nonetheless.
Regardless of these tensions, Washington and Beijing have lately sought to spotlight their cooperation on points the place the 2 international locations’ pursuits converge.
This was seen on the COP24 local weather convention in Glasgow, Scotland. There, Chinese language and American envoys introduced a shock joint settlement to set new targets for scaling again fossil gasoline consumption.
Collectively, the US and China are accountable for greater than 35% of greenhouse gasoline emissions worldwide, though China produces greater than double what America does.
Local weather change is without doubt one of the few points the place each Washington and Beijing may benefit from cooperation. The White Home official stated Biden will spend a part of the assembly on Monday discussing potential areas of cooperation between Washington and Beijing. However these points are the exception; extra typically, the 2 international locations are on reverse sides.
Below Xi, China’s one-party Communist authorities has strived to dethrone the US because the world’s primary financial and political energy. It has exerted its financial affect across the globe, financing infrastructure initiatives within the creating world and forging purely transactional alliances with international locations.
Again house, the Communist celebration has violently suppressed dissidents in Hong Kong, and regularly restricted freedoms loved for a century by residents of the previous British protectorate.
For the White Home, these developments are seen as a part of a longer-term plan that in some methods presents extra of a menace to the US than any one of many strategic points alone.