GP Short Notes

GP Short Notes # 650, 31 July 2022

Biden-Xi phone call underlines tensions in bilateral relations
Avishka Ashok

China: Biden-Xi phone call underlines tensions in bilateral relations

What happened?
On 28 July, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden discussed and exchanged their views and concerns on bilateral ties and other issues of mutual interest during a two-hour-long telephonic conversation.
 
Xi highlighted the current situation of the international order and stressed the economic superpowers to take the lead in upholding world peace and security. The Chinese Head of State expressed his concerns regarding the China policy of the US and the country’s perception of China as a strategic competition and a primary rival. Xi suggested working together with the US on macroeconomic policies, global industrial and supply chains, energy and food security.
 
On the Taiwan issue, President Xi reiterated China’s objection to any support extended towards the independence movement and interference in the country’s internal affairs. Xi urged the US to abide by the one-China principle and the joint communiques. He said: “The three China-U.S. joint communiques embody the political commitments made by the two sides, and the one-China principle is the political foundation for China-U.S. relations. China firmly opposes secession aimed at "Taiwan independence" and external interference, and never allows any room for "Taiwan independence" forces in whatever form.” Biden reassured Xi that the US adherence to the one-China principle had not changed and that the country did not support the independence movement in Taiwan.

What is the Background?
First, the conversation and its timing. The discussion took place at a time of increased tensions between the two countries. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly urged the US to refrain from interfering in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan, which it considers its internal affairs. Additionally, the decision of the US government to ban goods and products produced in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region through the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act has further heightened tensions between the countries. More recently, speculations of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan have engendered strong reactions and promises of serious consequences from China. Beijing has also urged the international community and other international organisations to set up an investigation into the US violation of the human rights of indigenous and other minorities in the country.
 
Second, China’s renewed assertion on Taiwan. In recent years, China’s narrative on Taiwan has become increasingly aggressive and assertive. Beijing vehemently opposed the inauguration of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, downgraded diplomatic relations and economically coerced the European country to repeal its actions. China's relations with Australia further worsened when the latter expressed concerns over a Chinese invasion of Taiwan in October 2021.
 
Third, Biden’s objectives vis-a-vis China. The US is at a crucial juncture as China’s fast rise as an economic power in the last few decades threatens to change the status of the US as a sole hegemonic power. China has become increasingly influential in international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the World Trade Organization, amongst many others. In the present scenario, the US recognizes the need to challenge China’s rise but also does not want to engage in any more trade wars. The primary aim of the US is to protect its interests and repair its domestic economy by controlling the inflation rates.
 
Fourth, the US Congress’ growing assertiveness on Taiwan. The Congress has acted independently while asserting its views on Taiwan. Regardless of President Biden’s reassurance over the US not supporting the independence movements in Taiwan, the actions of Congress presents a different narrative. Other than Pelosi’s upcoming visit to Taiwan, in November 2021, a delegation of 13 Congressmen visited Taiwan and discussed its defence security with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials. Prior to that visit, a delegation of US Senators visited the country in June 2021 and announced the donation of 7,50,000 COVID-19 vaccines.

What does it mean?
The phone call between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping comes at a time of high tensions in relations between the US and China. The call attempted to understand the other country’s perspective on issues of common interest and also aimed to carry forward the bilateral relations and cooperation. Both, the US and China, acknowledge the disagreements between the countries but will aim to continue working towards a civil relationship.
 
For China, the call was an opportunity to express its course of action against Taiwan. China will act aggressively and will not shy away from using its military in case it feels threatened about its sovereignty over Taiwan. Towards this aim, the country will increase its military presence in the Taiwan Straits and engage in drills and operations near Taiwan.
 
For Taiwan, a visit from the US would be beneficial to its national defence and its status as a sovereign country. Taiwan has pursued greater cooperation with the US and other major powers for a long time. However, increased involvement of the US could significantly destabilize the existing peace in the region and may also push China to take action aggressively.

30 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 681
Putin's address in the Valdai Club" Four Takeaways
30 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 680
Elon Musk's Twitter deal
23 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 679
The UK: Liz Truss' resignation spins political chaos
16 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 677
UN deems Russia’s referendums illegal
13 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 676
China: UNHRC proceeding on Xinjiang
9 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 675
Trade and Statistics Outlook 2022-23: Four takeaways
9 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 674
OPEC: The curious case of OPEC's production cuts

9 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 672
Reducing Inequality Index 2022: Three Takeaways
2 October 2022 | GP Short Notes # 665
The new DART Mission: A new era of planetary defence
29 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 669
Iran: Protests spark against hijab rules
25 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 664
Putin and Russia's New Ukraine Strategy
22 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 668
EU's food waste 2022: Three takeaways

18 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 663
Sweden: 2022 elections reflect political polarization
18 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 662
SCO Summit 2022: Who said what
16 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 666
Global Estimates of Modern Slavery 2021: Six takeaw

16 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 665
North Korea: New legislation hinders denuclearization talks
16 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 664
Ukraine: Counteroffensive in Kharkiv and Kherson
11 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 661
Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina’s State visit to India
11 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 659
Russia: Military exercise Vostok 2022
8 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 658
The UN report on Xinjiang: Four Takeaways
1 September 2022 | GP Short Notes # 656
Iraq-Al-Sadr Withdraws, Protests Intensify

7 August 2022 | GP Short Notes # 653
Sri Lanka starts bailout talks with IMF
31 July 2022 | GP Short Notes # 651
Tunisia: Referendum paves the way for one-man rule
24 July 2022 | GP Short Notes # 649
Putin’s meeting with Khamenei and Erdogan
17 July 2022 | GP Short Notes # 648
Elon Musk Versus: 'Twas a troll after all
3 July 2022 | GP Short Notes # 643
NATO 2022 Strategic Concept: Four takeaways

26 June 2022 | GP Short Notes # 639
Saudi Arabia: Rapprochement with Turkey

26 June 2022 | GP Short Notes # 638
Europe: Approving Ukraine's candidature for the EU
8 May 2022 | GP Short Notes # 635
EU: New sanctions on Russia

24 April 2022 | GP Short Notes # 631
Russia: New nuclear-capable ICBM test

17 April 2022 | GP Short Notes # 629
Elon Musk and the battle for Twitter
10 April 2022 | GP Short Notes # 627
New actions and sanctions on Russia

28 March 2022 | GP Short Notes # 625
Europe: The new focus on defence
28 March 2022 | GP Short Notes # 624
The G7 Summit: Focus on Russia and Ukraine’s defence
20 March 2022 | GP Short Notes # 622
China: A careful strategy on Russia and Ukraine
13 March 2022 | GP Short Notes # 620
China: Fifth Session of the 13th NPC
13 March 2022 | GP Short Notes # 619
Ukraine: The Versailles declaration of the EU leaders

6 March 2022 | GP Short Notes # 617
Sanctions against Russia: Effects and Divides
12 February 2022 | GP Short Notes # 614
Quad summit in Australia: Focus on the Indo-Pacific 
12 February 2022 | GP Short Notes # 613
The One Ocean Summit: A framework toward conservation
5 February 2022 | GP Short Notes # 612
Escalation and de-escalation in the Ukraine crisis
29 January 2022 | GP Short Notes # 610
The Normandy Format: Europe, Russia and Ukraine
15 January 2022 | GP Short Notes # 609
Mali: Tensions escalate as ECOWAS imposes sanctions
15 January 2022 | GP Short Notes # 608
Kazakhstan: Russia, China and the protests
15 January 2022 | GP Short Notes # 606
India, China 14th round of military talks in Ladakh
8 January 2022 | GP Short Notes # 605
The US: Remembering 6 January

Click below links for year wise archive
2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018

Click here for old Short Notes