For just the second time in almost three years, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet in person for summit discussions in San Francisco next week. Despite this, little camaraderie and no significant agreements seem to be on the horizon.
The meeting, which took place on the fringes of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, comes after a six-month effort by the United States to confront its geopolitical adversary, which included multiple unreturned cabinet-level visits.
According to Stanford University China researcher Oriana Skylar Mastro, “this is going to overshadow anything that happens at APEC.”
Beijing has not officially confirmed Xi will attend the APEC meeting, which takes place from November 15 to 17, even though U.S. officials stated there was “agreement in principle” for Xi and Biden to meet in San Francisco, one year after their previous encounter on the margins of the G20 conference in Bali.
APEC, a consortium of twenty-one economies, is responsible for about half of world commerce and roughly 62% of global GDP. However, it has gradually evolved into a battlefield for strategic rivalry between the United States and China.
Even though no significant developments are anticipated and according to Biden administration officials, announcing a slate of meeting outcomes is an antiquated method of gauging the state of relations with China, experts have identified potential positive signs, like an increase in commercial flights between the two nations, or steps toward collaboration on more difficult problems, like stopping the flow of Chinese-originated fentanyl precursor chemicals.
Although U.S. officials have warned that it may take some time to restore completely functioning interaction between the two militaries, they have also voiced some hope about improvements in the mostly severed military connections. According to some observers, Beijing perceives U.S. military provocations in the region, hence Beijing wants ambiguity in defense relations to limit such actions.