The Big Picture

The US and China's Fine Line

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  • The first in-person meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden as presidents of their respective countries brought warm smiles but was low on deliverables.
  • Biden said he doesn't expect an imminent Chinese attempt to invade Taiwan — which remains China's "red line" in its relations with the US.
  • Elsewhere, climate cooperation could be revived, but there is little sign of China drifting away from its close ties to Russia.

Xi and Biden's first face-to-face meeting seems proof that nothing beats in-person contact. Smiles, warm greetings and handshakes opened a meeting that lasted more than three hours. Respective readouts called for the two countries to "compete vigorously" (the US) and for "win-win cooperation" (China). The world appeared to sigh with relief at the thought that the US-China relationship had stepped back from the brink after US House Speaker Nancy’s Pelosi controversial visit to Taiwan this summer — and China’s subsequent aggressive military response. But the now more positive mood music shouldn't detract from the challenges ahead.

Security Risk , Macroeconomics
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