/ 17 November 2021

Just like starting over for Biden and Xi

Image source: Reuters
Image source: Reuters

The leaders of the world’s 2 biggest economies met virtually yesterday for their first formal meeting this year, flags included. Chinese President Xi Jinping greeted US President Joe Biden as his “old friend” and Biden said he valued his honest and candid exchanges with Xi in the past. Pleasantries exchanged, both sides took to the trenches to defend their positions on issues like Taiwan, trade and human rights. And it’s the conversation about China’s muscling up to reunify the breakaway territory that has stolen the spotlight from the meeting. China says Biden was warned that encouraging Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire”, and the White House says the US continues to oppose moves that “undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”. There were no major announcements out of the session, but analysts say it’s a good first step towards getting the China-US relationship out of the toxic burning rubbish tip it’s been in.

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