To say that Sino-American relations have had a few hiccups in recent years is a massive understatement. The Trump Administration policies were the origin of the current relations between the United States and China, where President Trump, with all his business mindset, started a series of trade tariffs, import restrictions, and regulations on China. Which led to a response by the Chinese, which further led to a trade war between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. The situation further got out of hand with the COVID-19 outbreak. Fast forward to 2023, and China and the United States are both on edge with tensions in the South China Sea and Taiwan. Plus, with the continuation of imposing trade restrictions on China to damage its growing tech industry, the current global market is in a volatile position, especially since the escalation between Russia and Ukraine, including the recent Gaza crises. Recently, the current relations between the Americans and the Chinese have taken a turn.
A summit took place this month of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in San Francisco, where Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden held a separate summit where the key focus was on preventing any undesirable outcome from the existing competition between China and the US. This summit is, to some extent, reshaping the relationship between the Chinese and the Americans, where both parties agreed on managing competition in a sustainable manner to avoid negative outcomes. The agreements made during this summit also include an extensive protocol of communication between the two global powers, and a presidential hotline is now established. Furthermore, there is a re-activation of military-to-military engagement between the Chinese and American military. According to President Joe Biden, the meeting was “among the most constructive and productive we’ve had,” indicating that the meeting did lead to some mutual agreements on several issues. Both nations have agreed on several areas of cooperation, including artificial intelligence governance, counternarcotics, and defense, and have made commitments to improving trade relations. I think it is safe to say that both nations, to some extent, have realized that the rising global issues are directly or indirectly linked to their relations, and it is now necessary to come up with a solution that will likely prevent another global crisis.
The summit between the US and China will likely have global implications in the near future. Both sides have now committed to developing policies and solutions to the rising global threat of climate change. The military-to-military dialogue will likely help prevent conventional escalations in the near future. The summit provides a new opportunity for Sino-American relations where a progressive path can be taken, which will likely signal a shift in global power dynamics. This diplomatic breakthrough even allows the global powers and the rest of the international community to come up with an appropriate solution to the existing conflicts and tensions that exist in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The focus on managing the competition between the rival powers and focusing on sustainable development will likely pave the way towards a much more stable future for the global community.