What Biden-Xi summit presages for the future

News: During a virtual summit between US President and the Chinese President, both nations have decided to nudge their relations towards greater engagement and expanded cooperation.

What are the recent initiatives by US and China to mitigate tensions?

Recently, both nations took significant steps to give a new and more positive direction to US-China relations.

These include

-Inauguration of high-level engagement on key bilateral and global issues,

-Agreed to engage in structured talks on their respective nuclear stockpiles to ensure “nuclear stability”. This is due to rapid and significant advances in the Chinese nuclear stockpile.

Read more: US-China missile rivalry opens up new opportunities for India

-US has rolled back to its earlier position in Taiwan and recognised the One China Policy.

Read more: Taiwan-China conflict and India’s stand on it

-Both Nations announced a “US-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Change” on the eve of the Glasgow summit. The declaration will 1. Enhance the bilateral programme of cooperation on Climate Change, 2. A substantial initiative on reducing methane emissions, 3. Expanding forestry, 4. “phasing down” of coal-based power by China, 5. Achieve a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035 in the US.

Read more: Glasgow Climate Pact – Explained, pointwise
What are the reasons behind the US’s policy shift?

1. Opinion of American investors in China: China Business Report mentioned that 72% of American companies in China had no plans to move production out of the country in the next three years, 2. The Chinese economy is now fully integrated into the global economy, So the US has to adjust its external policy to reflect this reality. 3. Growth of Chinese nuclear stockpile: China now has more long-range and sophisticated missiles, including those with multiple warheads. Further, China successfully tested a hypersonic glide weapon that is capable of penetrating anti-ballistic missile systems deployed by the US.

Read more: Explained: Agni (ICBM) vs China’s Hypersonic missile
What are the challenges in China-US relations?

1. Issue of the trade war, 2. Discrimination against Chinese companies on specious national security grounds by the USA, 3. The spillover effect of the US’s domestic economic policy on global economic recovery and on China.

What it means to India?

The growth of the Chinese nuclear stockpile will have implications for the credibility of India’s own limited nuclear deterrent.

Affect India’s geopolitical calculations, and India need to reassess the value of partnership with the US and platforms like the Quad.

Source: This post is based on the article “What Biden-Xi summit presages for the future” published in Business Standard on 17th November 2021.

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