The rapprochement between Xi and Biden at the APEC summit in San Francisco

Xi Jinping and Joe Biden took advantage of the APEC summit to hold a meeting that highlighted the rapprochement between their two countries. No doubt Vladimir Putin observed this rapprochement with some annoyance. This rapprochement complicates relations between Russia and China. What’s worse, from Putin’s point of view, is that Xi and Joe agreed to work together to solve the world’s big problems without asking him for his opinion. A decade ago, some saw the possibility of a world ruled by Beijing and Washington. We are still far from that. However, this rapprochement shows that the axis that Putin sought to build with Xi and with the enemies of the United States is still very weak.

1) What do Taiwan’s pro-independence leaders think of this meeting?

Taiwanese pro-independence leaders are likely not happy with the meeting between Xi and Biden. This is because the presidential election is approaching in January in Taiwan and the option of independence is on the rise. However, if Xi assured that his country was not considering attacking Taiwan in the short term, Biden reiterated the American commitment to maintain the status quo for Taiwan.

2) Why is conflict with Taiwan not imminent?

In fact, neither the United States nor China has any interest in going to war over Taiwan. Chinese and American leaders also do not want the wars in Ukraine and Gaza to spread beyond their region. The United States would have difficulty dealing with three major conflicts, and China’s already struggling economy would be severely damaged by an extension of the conflicts.

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3) What is the nature of the rapprochement between China and the United States?

The United States and China are trying to define a new political space where the two countries are neither friends nor enemies. Unfortunately, this gray area is only an illusion. The very nature of the Chinese Communist regime pushes it toward practices of control that extend beyond China’s borders. As for American society, it is increasingly influenced by the powers of money. Without a common enemy, the forces opposing the two political systems are gaining ground.

4) What will this approach really bring?

Therefore, the United States and China have reached minimal agreements in some areas. For example, the military authorities of the two countries will talk to each other regularly, which is a good thing. The two countries will cooperate more on the environment and climate change. But, for the most part, nothing is settled. The Chinese military will continue its territorial expansion in the China Sea. The United States will continue to protect its high-tech industry against its Chinese competitors.

5) What is the purpose of the APEC meeting in San Francisco?

The APEC summit in San Francisco looks like the summit of the last chance to unite the member countries of the organization against the trade threat from China. Under the guise of making the various production chains in the Asia-Pacific region more resilient, the leaders of China’s rival countries are, in effect, ensuring that they will no longer be as dependent on China-based industries as before. They forget, however, that the economic tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party now extend far beyond China’s borders. Indeed, APEC’s economic coalitions appear very fragile in the face of Chinese power.