Daily News Analysis

Biden-Xi summit                                         

22nd November, 2021 International News


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The story so far:

  • S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a virtual summit touching upon a range of policy concerns in the bilateral space.
  • Tensions have soared between Washington and Beijing across issues of global and regional interest, including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea, and technology, including 5G.
  • There was no breakthrough announcement, which suggests that the task ahead for both nations would be to manage conflicts so that they do not spill over and affect the global economy.


What are the core areas of tension now?

Trade and tariffs

  • These are at the top of the agenda of policy matters causing bilateral friction.
  • After the globally damaging trade war with China through 2019 and
  • Atemporary reprieve came with the Phase One Trade Agreement. Under it, China was mandated to buy $380 billion worth of American goods by the end of 2021, yet has failed to do so.


Taiwan’s independence

  • Washington is holding firm to its long-standing policy on this complex subject, that it acknowledges but does not recognise Beijing’s claim to Taiwan under the One China policy.
  • Chinese delegation has respond aggressively that any moves by Western powers seen as strengthening Taiwanese independence, including direct arms sales to Taipei and visits by Western lawmakers to the island territory would have repercussion.


5G technology

  • White House accuse Beijing of “unfair trade practices for technology and intellectual property”.
  • S. policymakers relied on a matrix of export restrictions to target China’s semiconductor supply chain in a bid to safeguard critical infrastructure in the telecommunications sector.


What led the two Presidents to engage in a dialogue?

  • Although the virtual summit meeting yielded no breakthrough announcement.