Cautious optimism or delayed war?
On November 16, California hosted a fateful meeting of the two largest countries’ leaders in the modern world. The real leaders of the modern world
It is clear from their speeches and comments that they are now in a conciliatory mood. And from the agreements reached, it is clear that there is no real agreement.
They talked about everything, but agreed only to restore communication between the military (to avoid accidental escalation) and to control the production of fentanyl, a synthetic drug that kills Americans.
The Russian-Ukrainian war was also discussed. The Americans allegedly asked not to supply the aggressor with weapons and to influence Pyongyang in this regard. But the Xinhua communique does not mention this. It is not a priority for Beijing.
“The emphasis there is on Taiwan and the global economic recovery. The interdependence of China and the United States is much greater than the almost former dependence of the EU and Russia. It is not raw materials.”
Much will depend on whether the Chinese invite the US president to visit Beijing to continue contacts or wait for the results of next year's elections. And the Chinese can and do wait for a favorable moment.
My conclusion is that this meeting is a tactical maneuver for both sides. This is a step towards ‘defusing’ global tensions. The first step, checking positions. Xi was interested in whether Grandpa Joe still had any prospects (and whether he was more profitable for China than Trump). And Biden was interested in whether Xi was really behind various conflicts in the world (Russia, Iran, etc.).
The two sides are not ready for a direct clash. Therefore, it will not happen for now. But preparations will continue anyway. Somewhere between 2027 and 2030. When all the other cards have been played. A postponed problem.
About the author. Volodymyr Horbach, political analyst at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, expert on Ukraine's foreign and domestic policy.
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