U.S. – China relations November 2022-

Written by  //  November 17, 2022  //  China, Geopolitics, Trade & Tariffs, U.S.  //  No comments

Thucydides’s Trade Trap
Meeting at the G20 summit in Bali, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck a more conciliatory tone, with Biden pledging that there will be no “new cold war” with China. But even if an imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan now seems less likely, the recent escalation of American restrictions on exports of advanced technologies to Chinese firms suggests that economic decoupling will continue.
Carl Bildt: How China Will Achieve Hegemony
(Project Syndicate) Notwithstanding the risks posed by Russian aggression, China appropriately looms largest in the Biden administration’s new National Security Strategy. Yet by eschewing an assertive free-trade agenda, the United States continues to give China an advantage in precisely the area where it is ascendant.
Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg: America Should Rethink Its Economic War on China
America’s latest efforts to block China’s technological and economic development are likely to do more harm than good. The peaceful economic relationship of the past 30 years may not have been perfect, but it was certainly better than what will come from zero-sum rivalry and mutual suspicion
(Project Syndicate) Consider US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s rather sobering suggestion, in September, that it is no longer enough for the world’s largest economy simply to outcompete its economic rivals through technological innovation. The implication is that America must do whatever it can to hold those rivals back, and to inflict as much economic pain on them as possible. Yet this outlook clearly signals weakness. It is an admission that policies aimed at increasing America’s own economic competitiveness may have only limited success.
In fact, America’s moves against China are less about national security and more about economic domination. If it continues (a big “if”), the impressive progress that China has made over the last three decades could indeed make it the world’s most important economy. But it is wrong to presume that global welfare is a zero-sum game, and that China’s ascent implies America’s decline. Moreover, it remains to be seen how effective the new sanctions will be, given that the US imposed them unilaterally without consulting its allies. Export restrictions, in particular, call for close coordination, and there is already reason to doubt that some countries will go along with the US policy.

14 November
Biden and Xi try to avoid a new Cold War, even if all isn’t ‘kumbaya’
[Biden] described Xi as not overly confrontational but instead “the way he’s always been: direct and straightforward.”
CNN — President Joe Biden held a three-hour talk Monday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, their first in-person encounter since Biden took office and an opportunity that both sides appeared to hope would lead to an improvement in rapidly deteriorating relations.
Emerging afterward, Biden told reporters he was “open and candid” with Xi about the range of matters where Beijing and Washington disagree. He cast doubt on an imminent invasion of self-governing Taiwan, and seemed hopeful his message about avoiding all-out conflict was received.
Still, the US president was frank that he and Xi came nowhere near resolving the litany of issues that have helped drive the US-China relationship to its lowest point in decades.
Why China Will Play It Safe
Xi Would Prefer Détente—Not War—With America
By Christopher K. Johnson, President and CEO of China Strategies Group, a political risk consultancy, and a Senior Fellow at the Asia Society’s Center for China Analysis
(Foreign Affairs) Xi’s very sense that China faces substantial challenges may encourage him to lower bilateral tensions. Ding, a leading Politburo member, unwittingly hinted as much in a lengthy early November article in the People’s Daily, where he forcefully catalogued China’s many challenges and arduous tasks over the next five years (and beyond) and offered a controversial Mao formulation as the right response. It was, after all, Mao who first lowered tensions with Washington in order to more easily achieve many of his objectives. Xi is not looking for a rapprochement, but he might like some breathing room. Early rumblings that Biden and Xi could hold a lengthy meeting with the trappings of traditional modern summits, where both sides use the gathering to announce commercial deals and other deliverable results, certainly suggested as much. The real question is whether Biden wants to—or can—seize Beijing’s apparent interest in a détente to pump the brakes on the relationship’s downward spiral.

10 November
Biden to meet Xi Jinping at G20 in first face-to-face talks as president
Pair to ‘discuss efforts to deepen lines of communication’, White House says, with Taiwan and human rights set to be discussed
Joe Biden will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

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