Comprehensive it may need been, however based on Chinese state media, what robustness there was didn’t lead to any stress or dangerous feeling — fairly the alternative.
That account went into significantly extra element in regards to the name than the White House readout, and but the problems of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, such pivotal factors based on Washington’s account, are relegated to a single sentence within the fourteenth paragraph. Xi is quoted as dismissing Biden’s considerations out of hand, saying all three areas are “China’s internal affairs and concern China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“The US side should respect China’s core interests and act prudently,” Xi is quoted as saying.
Without a recording of the decision itself, there isn’t any approach to inform which account is probably the most correct; of their summaries, either side are speaking to a home viewers, Biden in claiming to be powerful on problems with human rights, Xi in saying he was equally powerful in pushing again.
Though Biden might want to seem powerful on China — and should pursue insurance policies that take this stance past the rhetorical — he’s coping with a rustic that’s extra highly effective than it has ever been, one which weathered an intensely hostile Trump administration, and has come largely out of the coronavirus pandemic stronger and safer, whereas the US stays mired in various levels of political and social strife.
He can be coping with a rustic that’s greater than adept at enjoying this sport. The response to the Biden name in China is that it represents an opportunity for a brand new starting, suggesting Xi and his administration are unconcerned by Biden’s seemingly powerful stance.
Biden will not be the primary US chief in recent times to handle uncomfortable points when speaking with senior Chinese officers and diplomats. And as earlier US administrations have proven, denouncing Beijing publicly would not essentially preclude the 2 sides from working collectively.
Bill Clinton, who as soon as condemned the “butchers of Beijing” following the 1989 Tiananmen Square bloodbath, additionally lobbied for China to hitch the World Trade Organization (WHO), massively boosting the Chinese economic system and the nation’s standing on the worldwide stage.
His successors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, whereas sometimes experiencing moments of stress with Beijing, additionally sought to companion with China on points similar to North Korea, Iran, and cybersecurity, in addition to boosting financial engagement.
However, the Biden administration has additionally made clear there are points similar to local weather change by which the 2 sides share a nationwide curiosity, and which it’s going to search cooperation with Beijing. Of extra potential concern to China, Biden has additionally steered he might rally European leaders and different allies — extra keen to hearken to him than Trump — in opposing Beijing on numerous points, although how this gels with additionally wanting Chinese engagement in different areas stays to be seen.
Since Clinton, Washington has been criticized by China hawks for being too mushy on Beijing, for not utilizing the leverage it had whereas the 2 powers have been unequal. Biden is maybe the primary US chief for whom this isn’t essentially an possibility, and he might be coping with a superpower that’s on an equal footing.