According to U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had a virtual meeting to discuss the possibility of arms control. Biden and Xi have agreed to start the discussions on strategic stability about U.S. concerns about China’s nuclear setup.
In a Brookings Institution webinar, Sullivan said there would be an escalation of the engagement on numerous levels to ensure guardrails around this rivalry and prevent it from devolving into war. Sullivan did not elaborate on what form the discussions will take place but added that That is not the same as the Russian conflict with the formal strategic stability dialogue. The Russian case is more mature and has a deeper history. There is less maturity in the U.S. and China conflict. However, the two leaders discussed the issues regarding their conflicts. It is now up to us to have the most productive way to carry the discussion forward.
The virtual summit outcomes vs expectations
Washington has many times urged China to join Russia in the new arms control agreement. On the other hand, Beijing has stated that it is willing to engage in bilateral strategic security discussions based on equality and mutual respect.
This has been the most in-depth discussion among the two leaders since Biden took office in January. The leader’s discussion took about 3-1/2 hours. However, it appears that little was done to decrease the differences that raised fears of an eventual conflict between the two superpowers.
The U.S. had hoped that the meeting would provide stability to a relationship that has been strained by a slew of concerns, notably Beijing’s assertive measures toward China’s self-proclaimed Taiwan.
Biden was alluding to the Taiwan Relations Act. This U.S. legislation compels the U.S. to equip Taiwan with the means to defend itself. However, Washington has long maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity on whether it would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan. We are not encouraging independence, Biden added later.
High hopes for better relations
Xi told Biden that China would take any needed decisive measures if Taiwan crossed Beijing’s red line in seeking independence in their meeting.
Biden urged his Chinese opponent to take action regarding human rights during the meeting. Xi warned that China would meet any military actions on the part of Taiwan adequately. A representative for the U.S. State Department revealed similar facts. It stated that China has agreed to let U.S. journalists currently leave and return freely, which they had previously been unable to do. According to the report, the U.S. planned to help Chinese journalists receive comparable treatment.