A virtual conference is scheduled between President Biden and Chinese Premier, Xi Jinping to look into spiraling Chinese-US relations. Earlier, the leaders twice spoke over the phone after President Biden assumed office this January.
This video summit will be the most extensive discussion between Xi Jinping and the US President. The announcement comes within a day of surprising cooperation between the countries on the issue of climate at the Glasgow COP26 conference.
But Taiwan remains a major irritant in the US-Chinese relationship and is a potential cause of crisis between the superpowers. The People’s Liberation Army of China conducted a number of major military exercises to test the combat readiness of the coast of Taiwan. Top diplomats of China and Taiwan earlier traded warnings on the situation on the island.
Multiple Irritants As Xi Jinping And President Biden Head For Talks
Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, warned Antony Blinken, the American State Secretary, that any move to support Taiwan’s ‘independence’ would ‘boomerang’ on the Americans.
Blinken has raised deep concerns over the economic, military, and diplomatic pressure being exerted on Taiwan. The US has also leveled charges of sustained cyber-attacks by China.
The Americans have also raised the issue of lack of human rights, mainly in Tibet, the Xinjiang region, and Hong Kong. Lingering trade issues have also been a major cause of deteriorating relations between the two countries.
Xi Jinping has also repeatedly stonewalled international requests for a multilateral probe into the origin of the pandemic. The Chinese have also pressurized US companies with an interest in China to influence Congress and drop legislation that is inimical to Chinese interests.
Rapid Chinese military expansion that goes beyond its immediate region has also been a concern for the Americans. The Chinese also tested a new nuclear weapon that can be launched from orbit and expanded their nuclear arsenal.
Both Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will go into the video summit with low expectations. The White House hinted that the President will not field questions following the talks. A joint statement by Xi Jinping and President Biden is also highly unlikely.