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Xi-Biden summit benefits beyond two sides: Experts

By XU WEIWEI in Hong Kong and CHEN YINGQUN in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-20 10:00

The summit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in San Francisco signals the Chinese vision for peaceful coexistence beyond the Cold War mentality for the benefit of both sides and all, analysts said.

For China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option, Xi noted in his meeting with Biden on Wednesday, stressing it is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other, and conflict and confrontation have unbearable consequences for both sides.

President Xi is well aware of the pivotal role of China-US relations in shaping the destiny of the Asia-Pacific region, said Karori Singh, former director and emeritus fellow of the South Asia Studies Centre at India's University of Rajasthan.

Singh said geopolitical problems and strategic issues are increasing a trust deficit, which is impinging upon the success of APEC — thus the summit of Xi and Biden helped iron out differences between the US and China.

In fact, China-US cooperation is key to the development and security of the APEC region, Singh said. While China has the capacity and potential to satisfy consumer demands and development needs, including the construction of infrastructure, the US leads in capacity in critical and emerging technology to accelerate the process of development.

"Hence, the cooperation and joint efforts of China and the US ensure common development and a shared future whereas conflict is the nightmare for everyone in the Asia-Pacific region," he added.

During the meeting, Xi said China does not plan to surpass or unseat the US and likewise, the US should not scheme to suppress and contain China.

Jake Werner, acting director of East Asia Studies at the Quincy Institute, said that a stable relationship with China is very important for the US.

"There are serious problems and immediate conflicts all over the world," he said, adding that China could play a useful role in solving those problems.

'Good foundation'

According to Werner, specific agreements that Biden announced — on restricting fentanyl, resuming military-to-military contacts, and discussing the safety issues of artificial intelligence — are modest but represent a good foundation from which to build further.

He also said that further progress is possible. "Each side provided important reassurances to the other side, however, to be effective these assurances require that trust be rebuilt on both sides."

During the meeting with Biden, Xi pointed out that the Taiwan question remains the most important and most sensitive issue in China-US relations. Biden reaffirmed US adherence to the one-China policy.

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, executive director of the Center for South Asia and International Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan, said the US commitment to the one-China policy should be taken as a positive sign but urged it to do more.

"Pledging to steer clear from the Cold War mentality and decoupling would be mutually beneficial for both countries, as well as the entire world."

Colin Mackerras, a Sinologist and emeritus professor at Griffith University in Australia, said that while the two presidents certainly did not solve all the problems at once, the meeting has contributed to an improved relationship.

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