U.S.-China Reset? Biden Offers Hand of Friendship to Xi While Holding Enmity in the Other
Despite the hype in the U.S. media about their much-anticipated summit in California this week marking a putative return to normal bilateral relations, the Biden administration continues pushing unprecedented aggression towards China.
Just like San Francisco’s notorious Third World-like homelessness and squalor being hurriedly cleaned up (swept under the rug, more like it) for the media spectacle, all the signs point to no return to decent U.S.-China relations in the longer term. It’s all a duplicitous facade for a passing moment on a path of enmity.
Biden held a four-hour summit with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday in San Francisco ahead of the annual conference for the 21-nation Association of Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC).
It was highly notable that Biden and Xi did not hold a joint press conference following their lengthy discussions. Nor did the two leaders issue a joint statement. So much for a new beginning!
Almost comically, the supposed positive meeting was later thrown into disarray when Biden at the end of his solo press conference made a hallmark embarrassing gaffe by repeating an earlier epithet for Xi. Asked by a reporter if he still considered the Chinese president “a dictator”, Biden responded, “Yes”.
Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, was visibly perplexed by his tone-deaf boss’s remarks, sensing that all the effort to create an apparent amiable reset in relations was in danger of collapsing in farce.
Chinese media tended to overlook Biden’s undiplomatic gaucheness. Surprisingly, China’s foreign ministry and media appeared to talk up the presidential summit as bearing prospects of more friendly bilateral relations. Global Times reported in an upbeat mood on a “strategic summit” for “greater stability in the world”.
The American and Chinese media spinning or wishful thinking about a seeming turnaround in positive relations is misplaced.
As Biden’s foolish and gratuitous remark about Xi being a “dictator” shows, the U.S. rulers have nothing but contempt for China. Biden may have held out a friendly hand to Xi, but the American president and the U.S. establishment are harbouring endemic and growing hostility towards Beijing.
The two presidents last met a year ago during the G20 gathering in Bali, Indonesia. Since that encounter there has been a worrying downturn in U.S.-China relations with many commentators in the U.S. and China, as well as around the world, fearing a possible outbreak of war between the two global nuclear powers.
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