The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, held on November 15 in San Francisco, was a significant gathering amid ongoing discussions surrounding China-US relations. Held during the APEC Summit, the aim was to address various challenges and explore opportunities for collaboration on both regional and global fronts.
The leaders focused on strategic issues, agreeing to enhance cooperation in areas like artificial intelligence, drug control, military communication, and cultural exchanges. This dialogue marks a significant effort to navigate trade tensions that emerged in 2018 under the Trump administration. Since 2018, US tariffs on Chinese imports surged from 3 per cent to over 19 per cent, while Chinese tariffs on US goods increased from 8 per cent to 21 per cent, impacting substantially the global economy.
The China-US dynamic has had far-reaching global implications, prompting numerous countries to align themselves in a changing geopolitical landscape. This shift has contributed to economic fragmentation and the implementation of nearly 3,000 new trade restrictions since 2019, significantly impeding the growth of international trade. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the cumulative effect of these trade barriers may lead to an estimated reduction of USD 7.4 trillion in global economic output.
Key outcomes from the meeting include the establishment of an intergovernmental dialogue on artificial intelligence and the formation of a working group for China-US drug control cooperation. Additionally, both nations have agreed to resume high-level military communication while also seeking to increase cultural, educational, and business exchanges.
This summit may potentially mark the final in-person engagement between Xi and Biden before the end of the US president’s term and signifies a crucial step towards addressing and easing relations between the two global powers.