When Titans meet, either there is some excellent news or terrible news. But the virtual meeting between American President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping through video conferencing proved a third possibility also—no news.

Nothing happened after the highly anticipated meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. It was a fizzle. It was a status quo ante. The meeting started very well with the two heads of state greeting each other. President Biden expressed the desire to have a face-to-face meeting with Xi. President Xi reciprocated the sentiment.

This was meant for public consumption, especially for the media. Once the press left, they bared their fangs, and the knives were out. After the usual exchange of pleasantries reflecting a certain bonhomie between the two, the meeting was as bland as possible. After the session, both USA and China felt good that it was over.

After this, the conversation shifted to trade, where Biden brought to the notice of Xi that American workers and industry needed to be protected from China’s unfair trade practices.

Xi retorted back by stating that America needs to give up using national security as a pretext to oppress and abuse Chinese companies who are doing business by complying with all the necessary regulations put forth by America.

The next topic on the agenda was China’s abysmal track record on human rights and its blatant and brazen violation in provinces like Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet. Xi responded by rebuking Biden and admonishing him to stop using human rights as a pretext to interfere in internal matters of other countries.


Each side had come to the table with a list of grievances against the other. The moment one side completed their allegation, the other side responded accordingly with their own rebuttals.

This is pretty much how the whole meeting played out. The Americans later said the conference proceedings were very much on expected lines, and they were not very hopeful about the outcome. The meeting was convened at the behest of the Americans because Joe Biden wanted it. The meeting happened at his request.

Ever since Joe Biden assumed the Presidency of America, he has wanted to meet Xi Jinping and talk over issues that matter to both the countries and have geopolitical ramifications. From that perspective, this meeting was important, even though it was virtual. There was no hope for agreement on anything. The question arises that being aware of the possible outcome, why did Biden want this meeting.


Washington believes that there is a real threat of armed conflict with China on the independence of Taiwan. China’s jingoistic posturing on Taiwan has been sending chills down the Taiwanese spine.

Chinese Air Force jets have been entering the air defence zone of Taiwan regularly because of which the tension between Taiwan and China is escalating every day. Having witnessed the crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong after it accedes to China, the USA is unwilling to repeat the same in Taiwan.

The USA is strategically committed to defending Taiwan’s autonomy. These circumstances combined with the pandemic with its origin in Wuhan, China and its associated economic fallout have forced the USA to confront China and set the record straight.

Biden told Xi that the USA does not want war with China. Biden reiterated his peaceful resolution of issues with China by stating that he wants nothing more than the simple, straightforward competition and that this competition should not veer towards conflict.
Biden has been in office for over a year now, but nothing is to write home about his China policy.

Biden has miserably failed to hold China accountable for the pandemic. He had himself said that China is withholding critical information, and all attempts at investigating the virus’s origin have been futile. Biden failed for Xi to grant access to Xinjiang for any investigation into alleged human rights violations reported there.

Even though human rights groups have been asking for a boycott of the 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing as a mark of protest against the human rights violations in Xinjiang, Biden did not feel this was important enough to be discussed with Xi. By drawing a zero on all these issues with China, Biden appeared weak and ineffective. The meeting did not yield anything, and it seems the USA is losing to China in the war of perception.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button