What happened at the first live meeting between Xi and Biden

A G2 more than a G20. The live meeting between the Chinese president and his American counterpart lasted more than three hours, the first since Biden took office. Leaders agree to avoid nuclear power in Ukraine, but Taiwan remains the red line not to cross. In the middle: North Korea, climate change, and trade and technology tensions. Biden speaks explicitly of wanting to avoid war.

Author: Gian Luca Atzori

the meeting between Joe Biden AND Xi Jinping on the occasion of G20 from Bali, Indonesia. This is the first live meeting since the American president took office and, as the Chinese counterpart pointed out in his opening salute, the most important relationship for the current world situation, the G2, or the Sino-American relationship, has been severely broken with the growth of tensions in the pacific and after the visit Taiwan from the speaker in the room Nancy Pelosi.

American dream

Both presidents arrived at the meeting in a position of strength. Xi has historically been re-elected to his third term with more power than ever within the Party and Biden, who thwarted the red wave in the midterm elections. However, this does not mean that we can expect great results or changes in position after the meeting, which remains crucial to reconnect in the face of common challenges such as ukrainian conflict and the of Climate Change but, above all, in the words of the Cnn that sum up Biden’s goal: “avoid the outbreak of a potential conflict between the two powers.”

The United States showed great importance to the event already from the composition of the delegation, which, alongside the president, saw the Secretary of State Blink and this for the treasury Yellen🇧🇷 Along with them, several Asian business experts. “As leaders of the world’s major economies, we have to manage the competition of our two countries, prevent it from becoming a conflict and collaborate on common issues”, said the US president, reiterating that, despite everything, Washington will continue to “compete vigorously” with Beijing.

new chinese dream

For China, on the other hand, “in this era of great changes, humanity faces unprecedented challenges, the world has reached a crossroads”. Xi Jinping said today. “Currently,” Xi added, “relations are in a situation very dear to all of us, because this is not the fundamental interest of our two countries and peoples, and it is not what the international community expects of us.” In the words of the foreign spokesman Zhao Lijian, it is necessary to “establish the right path for bilateral relations”, but also “to firmly defend our sovereign interests, security and development”.

There is, therefore, an awareness of one’s own historical responsibility, but also a certain firmness in opposing certain concessions, especially related to the Taiwan on issues of sovereignty or technological and commercial warfare on issues of development.

However, the leaders agreed with the ban on the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine and the idea of ​​encouraging North Korea to act “more responsibly”.

However, the position incompatibility emerged in Taiwan. For Xi, Taipei “is the first red line not to be crossed”. Instead, the US condemned Beijing’s aggressive and coercive actions around the island, which the latter regards as a domestic policy issue in which no foreign country has the right to intervene under the One China principle. Despite this, Biden is convinced that there is no “imminent danger”For the island of Formosa”, I absolutely believe that a new cold war is not necessary, he added, expressing the desire to follow the meeting with a visit to Beijing by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

It’s not “kumbaya”

Likewise, there are no illusions and Biden made it very clear: “I’m not suggesting this is kumbaya” which is a blindly devoted and naively optimistic belief. fronts and this is the first real sign of relaxation Shi Yinhong, Professor of international relations at Beijing Renmin University, it would be a huge illusion to believe that the meeting will lead to a significant relationship improvement🇧🇷 “Given that China and the United States are in a state of near-total rivalry and confrontation, there is little chance of predicting that the key issues can actually be clarified.” For Shi there were also few openings for other key issues, such as Ukraine, there North Korea or climate change.

“On the Ukraine issue, China has already clarified its position several times. It won’t change simply because of conversations with the President of the United States. About North Korea, in March of last year, China stopped considering the denuclearization as a fundamental element of its policy on the peninsula”. Not everyone is so pessimistic. For Mattie Bekink, director of the Economist Intelligence Corporate Network in Shanghai, “it is important that heads of state speak directly. resume communicationsthis is expected to spread to the lower levels as well.”


Certainly, when Biden and Xi first met in 2017 at the World Economic Forum in Davos a similar degeneration has been flaunted only by the most “realistic” specialists in international relations. Indeed, in 2021, when Biden took over as president, he was expected to oppose the Trump’s anti-Chinese policies, its threats and its trade and technology war that in 2018 imposed 50 billion taxes on Chinese goods.

However, the direction Biden took was different in ways, but certainly not in ends. There trade war linked to China’s surplus intensified, as did the squeeze on military technology and strategic industries. Now, while the West suffers from the Ukrainian situation, both politically and economically, even Beijing is not rejoicing in terms of growth after the housing crisis and the devastating impact of the Zero Covid Policy.

the prospects

In this context, the China-US-EU trade relationship remains a fundamental common interest to discourage the intensification of the various crises, including the energy🇧🇷 Furthermore, in this framework, Sino-Russian relations do not seem to improve. According to revelations by a Mandarin official in the Financial Times🇧🇷 put on did not inform Xi about the Ukrainian invasion, “if he had told us, we would not have been in such a difficult situation. There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine and some of them died during the evacuation, although we cannot say publicly.” 🇧🇷

A condition that sees Washington’s bipartisan diplomacy groping to insinuate itself on multiple fronts, not least because if there is one issue that unites Republicans and Democrats, it is certainly Beijing. However, we must never forget that, conversely, one of the few points that really unites the action of China, Russia and North Korea in the Pacific, is the aversion to the exercises and expansionism of the Born🇧🇷

Source: Fan Page IT