Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
November 10, 2022
The White House and President Biden personally confirmed the long-waited face-to-face summit with Xi, three days ahead of the meeting in Bali. It is not a last-minute announcement, but it is very close. There are several reasons for such a tease:
- The US midterm election was held on November 8th but there is no result on which party controls the congresses yet.
- Biden is embarking a long and sophisticated journey that will cover COP-27 in Egypt and finally G-20 in Bali.
- The US-China relation under Biden is the most competitive in history, planning and arranging the very first in person summit are naturally complicated.
- While Xi secured his full leadership of China for the next five years, Biden has been constantly challenged at home. Globally, the war in Ukraine is far from over but the sufferings and risk of a limited nuclear war are very real.
The White House has lowered the expectation for any concrete result from the Summit. But it is puzzling for President to announce that his agenda for such a summit is to “lay out what each of our red lines are, understand what [Xi Jinping] believes to be in the critical national interests of China, what I know to be the critical interests of the United States.” Because Xi has made it clear where China’s critical interests are in many speeches and exchanges, China’s position is well known around the world. The same goes for the critical interests of the US. In fact, the US has taken many actions against China, such as banning Huawei equipment around the world, all are based on protecting US national interests. China also takes actions to protect her national interests including military exercises near Taiwan. Is it too late for Biden trying to re-litigate all the well-known positions at the first face-to-face summit with Xi? Should Biden and Xi focus on discussing some solutions for reducing the tensions? However, Biden has announced that “he is not going to make any concessions” then why would Xi make any concessions at the summit? It all leads to a single question: why waste time for this summit? It appears that this summit will be nothing more than a photo-op!
Republicans’ attack on Biden before the summit even takes place is of consequences.
- Clearly, Biden does not have the mandate to speak for the US in global stages! Global leaders cannot take Biden seriously!
- Biden should focus on building a “China Consensus” or “China Strategy” at home before Xi will take him seriously as a deal maker. Unfortunately, the US does not have a consistent national foreign policy to speak of.
White House offers details of Biden’s first in-person meeting with Xi Jinping
·Washington Correspondent Thu, November 10, 2022 at 8:22 AM
On Thursday, the White House offered up new details of the agenda for next week’s highly anticipated first face-to-face meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The meeting will take place on Nov. 14 in Bali, Indonesia on the sidelines of a G20 Summit, and will mark their first in-person meeting since Biden became president.
In a call with reporters, a senior administration official outlined the White House’s four top agenda items. Those talking points include the relationship between the two countries; concerns about China’s actions in Taiwan and on human rights; areas where the White House says the two countries can work together; and global issues such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and North Korea actions.
Still, the White House is trying to set expectations ahead of the highly watched meeting, with the senior official emphasizing they’re “not going to sit down and solve all their differences or problems.”
‘Lay out what each of our red lines are’
A number of highly contentious issues will also be on the table, such as the global semiconductor shortage and Biden’s decision to block the sale of chips and chip-making technology to China. The two leaders could also discuss U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s high-profile visit to Taiwan in August and the belligerent response from China, which the senior administration official called “highly unfortunate.”
Biden briefly addressed the upcoming meeting during a press conference on Wednesday, explaining his own agenda is to: “lay out what each of our red lines are, understand what [Xi Jinping] believes to be in the critical national interests of China, what I know to be the critical interests of the United States, and to determine whether or not they conflict with one another.”
The president didn’t answer a question about whether he would commit to using the U.S. military to defend Taiwan from a possible Chinese attack, though he did say trade would be on the agenda. “The Taiwan doctrine has not changed at all,” Biden said. “There’s a lot we’re going to have to discuss.”
‘Not a meeting that is being driven by deliverables’
Overall, the White House is downplaying expectations and emphasizing the meeting as one that will set up the U.S.-China relationship for the future. “This is really not a meeting that is being driven by deliverables,” the senior official said.
Biden not ‘capable’ of projecting strength during upcoming meeting with China’s Xi: McCaul
Kelly Laco Thu, November 10, 2022 at 7:30 AM
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Michael McCaul, who is expected to chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee if Republicans take control of the House, is casting doubt on President Biden’s ability to project strength on the world stage.
“That explains why we have so many hotspots. And it’s dangerous, quite frankly,” McCaul said. “I mean, when you look at Putin invading Ukraine and China’s Xi doing a war game at the Pentagon with China and Taiwan. Actually it’s frightening. And I would hope he’s projecting deterrence to aggression and strength. But this administration doesn’t seem capable of doing that.”
The president also said he is “not willing to make any fundamental concessions” to Xi, and that he is “looking for competition, not … conflict.”
McCaul told Fox News Digital that the administration has also offended the United States’ key allies, which is a great national security issue.
“And then they offend,” McCaul said. “Egypt can be a great ally, and they’ve got a Muslim Brotherhood problem. But if [Biden] is going to go in there, like, for instance, what he did in Saudi and call them ‘pariahs’ and then demand the increased more energy after he calls them a pariah. And then stops our weapons shipment, that I signed off on, and precision guided weapons to defend themselves from the Houthi rebels, which, by the way, attacked the Emirates.”