Analysis: the United States has stopped pretending it is not trying to contain China
The two leaders enter the talks – which are taking place online because Xi has not left China since the start of the pandemic – in contrasting political positions.
Biden – who, unlike Xi, faces the complications of democracy – struggles to stabilize a presidency hammered by the aftermath of the pandemic and a perfect storm of rising inflation and gas prices that has rocked his approval ratings, though he’s made strides in re-energizing US alliances with an eye on China. Economic concerns weigh on both.
Given the wide rift between the parties and the political imperative for the two leaders to stand firm against each other at this time, tangible steps to ease tensions are unlikely to emerge from the talks. But agreeing not to let tensions escalate would be a start.
“An opportunity for the two leaders to discuss how to manage competition responsibly”
“The meeting provides an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss how to responsibly manage competition between the United States and the (People’s Republic of China) while working together in areas where interests align,” according to the appeal released by the US State Department. reading said.