– Long awaited, the summit between the US president, Joe Biden, and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, even if it will not produce concrete results, as seems likely, it will nevertheless give a positive signal to the whole world: that the US and China are willing to return to the negotiating table and resume talking to each other.

The two have known each other for a long time, they spent many hours together when they were both vice presidents, but they have never met in person since Biden was at the House Bianca: They only spoke on the phone twice in February and September.

They were supposed to meet in Rome, on the sidelines of the G20, but then the appointment was skipped: thanks to the draconian internal restrictions, Xi has never moved since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in China. But Biden is convinced that good foreign policy begins with building strong personal relationships.

The two will therefore talk to each other on Zoom, therefore not in presence and with less possibility of interaction and will be helped by the interpreters.

Appointment scheduled at 19:00 Washington time (in the morning, 08:45, in Beijing, in the middle of the Italian night), the virtual meeting should last several hours, it is not clear in what format, or with whom present.

The vertex occurs in a moment among the most critical of the relations between Biden and Xi, an escalation of tension between the powers: the Chinese military presence in Taiwan and the growing nuclear arsenal put Washington in grave alarm.

The phone call is expected after Biden signs the South Lawn on one of the White House lawns, the massive new $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure financing package, that package also voted on by some Republicans: an unlikely choice. casual to send a message to the counterpart that democracies work, give birth to more effective results than autocracies, because synthesis is born from confrontation.

Xi sits down at the table after further cementing his power, after the last week the Communist Party of China adopted a historic resolution which elevates him in stature to his two most powerful predecessors: Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

Biden, on the other hand, comes in the aftermath of a bad electoral result and while the polls show it to the lowest since the beginning of the presidency. There is no shortage of issues to discuss: first of all, the fight against climate change, after surprisingly, during the days of COP26 in Glasgow, the US and China showed a willingness to collaborate.

Then all the problems in the supply chain, which is fueling inflation in the US and can be partly traced back to what is happening in China.

Then there is the teaema of human rights violations against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang, that of the military strengthening of Beijing in the South China Sea, the repression in Hong Kong, the resistance of Beijing to collaborate in an investigation into the origins of the pandemic that has brought the world to its knees, the ‘knot’ of nuclear proliferation.

But the hottest issue is that of Taiwan: China is claiming sovereignty and the tension has skyrocketed after the latest Chinese air raids near the island and the news that Washington has already sent a small military contingent for at least a year to train local troops. And the Chinese president has already made it known that China will reunite with Taiwan “whatever the cost”.

So the ingredients are all there. And it is not certain that the fact that Xi will perhaps invite Biden to attend the opening of the next Winter Olympics in Beijing is enough to placate the tones. The White House did not say whether Biden would accept.

By Editor

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