November 13, 2021

Biden-Xi virtual summit: Value lies in managing tensions so don't expect breakthroughs, say experts

Source: The Straits Times

The meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday (Nov 15) is a chance to manage the superpowers' tensions so they do not spiral out of control, but major announcements are not expected, said foreign policy watchers.

Instead, the summit offers a chance for both leaders to underscore their positions on contentious issues, while staying in contact with each other.


Mr Jacob Stokes, a fellow at the Centre for a New American Security, said in a commentary on Friday after the summit's announcement: "Standing up for US and allied interests and values while keeping simmering tensions from boiling over will be the order of the day when Biden talks to Xi on Monday night."

Mr Biden is expected to "convey in frank terms continued, firm US opposition" against China's assertiveness towards Taiwan, its human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and its unfair trade practices, among other issues, said Mr Stokes, who focuses on US-China relations.

"At the same time, Biden will likely reiterate that while the United States expects the two powers to remain engaged in a 'stiff' strategic competition for the indefinite future, that fact need not lead to confrontation or conflict," he added.

Read the full story and more from The Strait Times.


  • Jacob Stokes

    Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign and military policy, East Asian ...