biden: A complicated relationship: Biden and Xi prepare for meeting – Times of India

WASHINGTON: Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping have slurped noodles collectively in Beijing. They’ve shared deep ideas in regards to the that means of America throughout an alternate on the Tibetan plateau. They’ve gushed to US enterprise leaders about growing a honest respect for one another.
The American president has held up his relationship with Xi as proof of his heartfelt perception that good international coverage begins with constructing sturdy private relationships.
But as the 2 leaders prepare to carry their first presidential meeting on Monday, the troubled US-China relationship is demonstrating that the facility of one of Biden’s biggest professed strengths as a politician — the power to attach — has its limits.
“When it comes to US-China relations, the gaps are so big and the trend lines are so problematic that the personal touch can only go so far,” mentioned Matthew Goodman, who served as an Asia adviser on the National Security Council within the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations.
White House officers have set low expectations for Monday’s digital meeting: No main bulletins are anticipated and there’s no plan for the customary joint assertion by the 2 international locations on the finish, in response to administration officers.
The public heat — Xi referred to Biden as his “old friend” when Biden visited China in 2013 whereas the then-US vice chairman spoke of their “friendship” — has cooled now that each males are heads of state. Biden bristled in June when requested by a reporter if he would press his previous pal to cooperate with a World Health Organization investigation into the coronavirus origins.
“Let’s get something straight: We know each other well; we’re not old friends,” Biden mentioned. “It’s just pure business.”
Biden nonetheless believes a face-to-face meeting — even a digital one like the 2 leaders will maintain Monday night — has its worth.
“He feels that the history of their relationship, having spent time with him, allows him to be quite candid as he has been in the past and he will continue to be,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned in previewing the encounter.
Biden and Xi, ages 78 and 68 respectively, first acquired to know one another on travels throughout the US and China when each had been vice presidents, interactions that each leaders say left a long-lasting impression.
Of late, there have been indicators that there could possibly be not less than a partial thawing after the primary 9 months of the Biden administration had been marked by the 2 sides buying and selling recriminations and by unproductive exchanges between the presidents’ high advisers.
Last week, for instance, the US and China pledged at UN local weather talks in Glasgow, Scotland, to extend their cooperation and velocity up motion to rein in local weather-damaging emissions.
Monday’s meeting — the 2 leaders’ third engagement since Biden turned president — comes amid mounting tensions within the US-China relationship. The two held lengthy telephone calls in February and September the place they mentioned human rights, commerce, the pandemic and different points.
Biden has made clear that he sees China because the United States’ biggest nationwide safety and financial competitor and has tried to reframe American international coverage to replicate that perception.
His administration has taken Beijing to job over committing human rights abuses towards ethnic minorities in northwest China, squelching professional-democracy efforts in Hong Kong and resisting world stress to cooperate absolutely with investigations into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tensions have additionally risen because the Chinese navy has flown rising numbers of sorties close to the self-dominated island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers half of its territory.
Chinese officers have signaled that Taiwan can be a high problem for the talks. Biden has made clear that his administration will abide by the lengthy-standing US. “One China” coverage, which acknowledges Beijing however permits casual relations and protection ties with Taipei. Chinese navy forces held workout routines final week close to Taiwan in response to a go to by a US congressional delegation to the island.
Other US presidents have held that bonding with a geopolitical adversary could be a good international coverage technique. George W. Bush confronted ridicule after his first meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin when he claimed that he had “looked the man in the eye” and “was able to get a sense of his soul.” Bush would go on to host the Russian chief at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and convey him to his father’s property in Kennebunkport, Maine, the place the forty third and forty first presidents took the Russian president fishing.
Putin finally annoyed Bush and the connection was damaged after Russia’s 2008 invasion of its neighbor Georgia.
Donald Trump went from disparaging North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” to declaring the 2 “fell in love” in an alternate of letters because the US president unsuccessfully tried to influence Kim to surrender the regime’s nuclear weapons program.
Biden’s private method to international coverage is partially knowledgeable by the truth that he’s been on the worldwide scene for a lot of the final half-century, writer Evan Osnos famous within the biography “Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now.”
“You can drop him into Kazakhstan or Bahrain, it doesn’t matter — he’s gonna find some Joe Blow that he met 30 years ago who’s now running the place,” Julianne Smith, a Biden adviser, advised Osnos.
Some high Biden administration officers speculate that with Beijing planning to host the Winter Olympics in February and Xi making ready to be authorized by Communist Party leaders to serve a 3rd 5-12 months time period as president subsequent October — unprecedented in current Chinese historical past — that there’s lots of motive for the Chinese chief to look to stabilize the connection within the close to time period, in response to an individual accustomed to administration pondering. The particular person insisted on anonymity to debate non-public deliberations.
Slowing financial progress and a brewing housing disaster additionally loom giant for Beijing. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a CBS’ “Face the Nation” interview aired Sunday warned the deepening of Beijing’s issues might “have global consequences.”
At the identical time, Biden, who has seen his polling numbers diminish at residence amid considerations in regards to the lingering coronavirus pandemic, inflation and provide chain issues, is seeking to discover a measure of equilibrium on essentially the most consequential international coverage matter he faces.
Biden would have most well-liked to carry an in-particular person meeting with Xi, however Xi has not left China since earlier than the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The digital meeting was proposed after Biden talked about throughout a September telephone name with the Chinese chief that he would really like to have the ability to see Xi once more.

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