US President Joe Biden had his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office, pledging to ‘manage’ the US trade war with China, which he called a ‘competition’ .
Biden, in the words of the reading of the White House discussion, “reiterated that this competition should not escalate into conflict and stressed that the United States and China must manage the competition responsibly and maintain clear lines.” of open communication”.
The reading continued: “President Biden explained that the United States will continue to compete vigorously with [China]including investing in sources of strength at home and aligning efforts with allies and partners around the world.
Speaking after the meeting with Xi, Biden said, “We will fight vigorously. But I’m not looking for conflict, I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly.
Biden’s emphasis on “managing” tensions and keeping lines of communication open may indicate a tactical shift from Washington and a temporary de-escalation of high tensions with Beijing.
Over the past few months, the Biden administration has steadily stepped up the pressure on Beijing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arranged a visit to Taiwan in a deliberate provocation against Beijing’s sovereignty claims. Biden said the United States would commit troops to defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion by mainland China.
Washington has banned trade in advanced microchips with China, an economic warfare measure targeting China’s core interests. China is isolated in a world where every other country, led by Washington, has abandoned all public health measures to deal with the pandemic.
China’s Zero-COVID policy is also under intense attack. With its war games and military deployments, Washington has brought the Korean Peninsula, vital to China’s own interests, to the brink of renewed armed conflict. Biden has repeatedly and baselessly accused China of “genocide”. The war in Ukraine, instigated by the United States and NATO, has deeply destabilized the Eurasian landmass and severed China’s commercial and political relations throughout the region. And all this in less than a year.
The meeting between Biden and Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit saw a step back from Washington from a year of relentless inflammatory rhetoric and military provocation. In his remarks to the press after a three-and-a-half-hour meeting with Xi, Biden called Xi “blunt and direct” and “willing to compromise.”
There would be no “new cold war” between the United States and China, Biden said, and added that he believed China had no imminent plans to invade Taiwan. This is a reversal of many previous hawkish statements issued by the Biden administration, the legislature and the Pentagon.
The term “New Cold War” was used to describe Vice President Mike Pence’s 2018 speech which raised the prospect of economic “decoupling” between the United States and China to prevent China from s seize the “dominant heights of the 21st century economy”. .” While denying that he seeks such a “New Cold War,” Biden has in fact embraced the doctrine of “strategic competition” with China, pioneered under the Trump administration.
Biden said Washington would “oppose a unilateral change to the status quo” in mainland China-Taiwan relations “on either side.” It was the first time the US president had spoken out against a burgeoning Taiwanese separatist movement which he had so far openly encouraged.
Biden announced that to “manage” the “competition,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken would travel to China to meet with his counterpart, and various U.S. and Chinese teams would meet to set up mechanisms for meetings to discuss the resolution. of differences.
The world times quoted Xi as responding that he “looks forward to working with the US president to put bilateral relations back on the path of healthy and stable development.”
The United States is on a strategic path that inevitably leads to war with China. China’s economic growth directly threatens US hegemony, and Washington will use trade war measures and open military conflict to maintain global dominance.
The tweaked rhetoric in Bali may express Washington’s attempt to drive a wedge between Russia and China as it pursues Russia’s imperialist breakup out of the war in Ukraine. The tactical deceleration of its drive to open war against Beijing is accompanied by the institutionalization and normalization as “competition” of its trade war measures taken against China.
These trade war policies were initiated by former US President Donald Trump and are expressed in the economic “decoupling” and de-globalization doctrines that have been embraced by the entire US political establishment.
An editorial in the FinancialTimes explained the meaning of Biden’s efforts to “manage” his “competition” with China:
Washington’s determination to curb Beijing’s ambitions to surpass it as the world’s leading military and economic power means that further decoupling with China is inevitable. But Washington must at the same time manage relations with Beijing with caution. It should be guided by three principles: that decoupling should not bring down the global economy; that war must be avoided; and that China’s cooperation is still needed on a range of global issues.
The newspaper continues:
Washington’s desire to slow down Beijing’s acquisition of cutting-edge military technology must be combined with cooperation in areas of common interest. These extend not only to the green transition, but also to nuclear proliferation, pandemic prevention and emerging market debt restructuring.
In other words, the economic doctrines of free trade and globalization, in which the flourishing of global economic activity would “lift all boats”, have been entirely rejected by the political establishment, replaced by two alternatives : the mercantilist trade war aimed at achieving military supremacy without the use of force or open military conflict.
The line between the two, however, is entirely fluid. Despite all of Biden’s statements that he is simply seeking a trade war and not a military conflict, his statements are openly contradicted by his own policy documents. Although its tactics may change, Washington’s explicitly stated strategy is preparation for military conflict with China.
Just a month before Biden and Xi met, Biden wrote an introduction to the new US National Security Strategy in which he said the United States “will seize this decisive decade to advance the vital interests of the United States.” ‘America” and “will position the United States to outsmart our geopolitical competitors.
Biden said, “We are in the midst of a strategic competition to shape the future of the international order.”
He added: “In the contest for the future of our world, my administration is clear-headed about the scale and gravity of this challenge. The People’s Republic of China harbors the intention and, increasingly, the ability to reshape the international order in favor of one that tilts the global rules of the game to its advantage, even if the United States remains determined manage competition between our countries responsibly.
In other words, Biden’s statements about the “handling” of his economic war with China are fundamentally consistent with his administration’s plans for military conflict with China in what he called the “decisive decade.” .
There are growing signs that, in an effort to defuse tensions with the United States, China is taking steps to adopt the policies of mass COVID-19 infection championed by the United States and other imperialist powers.
In an editorial, the Economist said “Chinese officials released 20 measures adjusting zero covid policies to make them a little less onerous and expensive to administer.” He called the measures “the biggest easing of the country’s pandemic stance since covid began to spread”, while also welcoming the abandonment of measures aimed at curbing property speculation.
There is no doubt that the United States, the world’s foremost imperialist power, has the skill and the acumen to provide rewards to Chinese officials in exchange for sacrificing the lives of tens of thousands of Chinese workers, thereby increasing the profits of the American companies. while pursuing their long-term plans to economically and militarily subjugate China.
There also seems to be silent movements by China to distance itself from Russia amid the US-led proxy war.
Reuters wrote: “Chinese Premier Li Keqiang underlined the ‘irresponsibility’ of nuclear threats at a summit in Cambodia, suggesting that Beijing is not comfortable with the nuclear rhetoric of Russia’s strategic partner, he said. said a senior US official on Monday.
Welcoming these statements, US Attorney and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “In particular, it is important that the US and China have jointly stressed that threats to use nuclear weapons are unacceptable. Everyone understands to whom these words are addressed.
The United States, Russia and China are each facing massive social and national crises. Despite the rhetoric of “decoupling” and “de-globalization,” inflationary pressure and impending economic recession threaten every country in the world. The resurgence of the class struggle in the United States, exemplified by an impending railroad strike, will weigh heavily on the plans of the White House.
Under these conditions, the United States may seek to make tactical shifts, including accepting concessions from China or even Russia, to temporarily stabilize soaring prices and avoid economic collapse.
The overall US policy, however, remains the militaristic and warmongering strategy expressed in last month’s National Security Strategy, pledging to “win the competition of the 21st century” through trade warfare, military threats, and the massive increase military spending. .