Sweet and sour diplomacy, but not cooked! -International issues

  • Author: Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury (Singapore)
  • International news agency

There is not much in other respects. Prior to the meeting, Biden focused on writing China’s rules of engagement “in a way that benefits the interests and values ​​of us and our allies and partners.” As expected, Xi Jinping and the Chinese did not play. Both sides are basically emphasizing their positions on the issue, and have no intention of concession to each other. In the end, as expected, there was no breakthrough. The irreconcilable position has not changed, and both sides vaguely call for greater cooperation.

Virtual meetings lose the positive effects of informal chats, banquets, and opportunities to develop personal friendships. Nevertheless, both leaders showed friendly demeanor and Xi Jinping called Biden an “old friend.” On the Taiwan issue, dialogue is very difficult. Xi Jinping reminded Biden of the US’s position that the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government of China. The communiqués issued here in 1972, 1979 and 1982 further consolidated the US’s position. After the talks, the White House clarified that “One China” has also been guided by “One China”. The Taiwan Relations Act and the six guarantees promise that the United States will oppose “unilateral efforts to change the status quo.” Xi Jinping made it clear that Taiwan is China’s “core issue”; it is a province of China, and any support for its independence is tantamount to playing with fire. “Whoever plays with fire will get hurt” is a message he strongly emphasizes.

However, there seems to be a silver lining. In the past, China refused to join any nuclear arms control agreement because its arsenal was much smaller than the arsenals of the United States and Russia. But recent significant quality improvements in its capabilities have been worrying the United States. At the meeting, China expressed its willingness to start a dialogue on this topic. However, it is impossible to reach an agreement beyond the fringe of the flying saucer, because China will naturally require the United States to drastically reduce the number of people, and this will be unacceptable to Washington. However, progress may be made on issues such as confidence-building measures (CBM) through diplomatic contacts, which will have a positive impact.

There are fundamental differences in the way China and the United States negotiate. The United States believes in an “ordering” method to select areas where it believes there is room for cooperation, and competition and even confrontation continue. On the other hand, the Chinese refuse to view it as “cherry picking” and view the agenda as a package plan. What is the use of understanding on one issue, while disagreements on another issue lead to war? Unless this basic disagreement is resolved, negotiations will not be able to produce any valuable results. The discussion will continue to be sweet and sour, just like the deliberations of the summit, but nothing really tasty will be cooked!

At the same time, Xi Jinping has consolidated his power in China, and he may receive a third term. More importantly, he is regarded as the leader of China’s national rejuvenation journey to fully build a modern power by 2049, and he is closer to the status of the great helmsman Chairman Mao Zedong himself. All of this is the result of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Communist Party of China last week, which passed a “historical resolution” supporting Xi Jinping’s power and status.

By the way, this is the third historic resolution in the party’s history. The first was adopted under the leadership of Mao in 1945, four years before the victory of the revolution, and the second was adopted by the “reformer” Deng Xiaoping. Mao was the one who restored the pride of the Chinese people and made them “stand up”, Deng made them rich through reforms, and Xi Jinping relied on this “idea” (replaced the “theory” in Chinese politics). lexicon) gave them strength and common prosperity. In an esoteric political environment where numbers are significant, a meeting communiqué of the Xinhua News Agency mentioned Xi Jinping’s name at least 14 times, while Mao Zedong mentioned it seven times and Deng mentioned it five times. This shows a lot.

Therefore, it is almost certain that Xi Jinping will be elected as the unprecedented third party general secretary at the 20th Party Congress next year. There are also rumors that he may also hold the title of “chairman”, which will put him on par with Mao Zedong. The plenum also upgraded Xi Jinping’s thought to 21st-century Marxism and completed the process of “sinicization” of Marxist philosophy. Xi has always been pragmatically merging Mao’s conservatism, but avoiding his methods of repression, through Deng’s reforms, correcting the “excessive behavior of capitalism” and enabling China to embark on socialism leading to a “modern society” of “shared prosperity” the way. It’s no wonder that many Chinese observers began to regard him as the “king of philosophers” in the Plato and Confucian models of the West, a perfect combination of power and authority. An interesting footnote is that the Communist Party of China officially announced a few hours after the summit. Its third “historical resolution” consolidated Xi Jinping’s power, although it was leaked earlier, which shows a set of well-thought-out calibration actions.

Despite the strong headwinds, Joe Biden seems to have achieved a little bit of success. He succeeded in building a cohesion among American allies, despite the many traps and bumps in his path. Importantly, he managed to ensure that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure reform bill passed into law to “rebuild better” was a campaign promise. This is no easy task for him, and it proves that persistence is rewarding. But for him and his Democratic Party, the future is not as optimistic as his Chinese counterparts. The Republican party’s victory in the presidential race is a clear possibility. This may lead to domestic political turmoil and backlash in the United States. It is necessary to identify a common enemy to unite the country. China is the obvious candidate. Therefore, if China’s “ultimate red line” on the Taiwan issue is crossed, a disaster may ensue.

Of course, the Chinese have already made these calculations. From now to then, while seeking to avoid direct conflict, China and Xi Jinping will, in the words of the “Global Times” regarded as the official media, prepare to “cope with the world’s biggest storm, the most powerful storm.” And a full-scale siege from the United States and its allies”. In the middle of this decade, placing too many bets for peace will be high risk!

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury He is an honorary researcher of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. Served as Bangladesh Diplomatic Advisor (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Chairman of the Universe Foundation and Distinguished Researcher. The opinions mentioned in the article are his own. His contact information is: isasiac @nus.edu.sg

This story was originally published on Dhaka Express.

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© Inter Press Service (2021) — All rights reservedOriginal source: International News Service


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