BEIJING: China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Bali Monday, Indonesia for the G20 summit. This is after nearly three years of self-imposed pandemic isolation.
Xi, fresh from securing a third term of the Communist Party leader, will feel strong as he meets a number of dignitaries on his second overseas trip since early 2020.
Here is a summary of Xi’s confirmed meetings this Week — and what’s at Stake:
Monday afternoon saw Xi meet Joe Biden, the US President, for their first meeting since Trump was elected. It was also the first China-US summit since 2019.
Rivalry has increased sharply between the top two world economies as Beijing has grown more powerful and determined over the US-led global system that has been in place for decades.
Since Biden’s election last year, the two have spoken five times by telephone.
After a record number of missile test, Biden will likely push China to curb North Korea’s ally.
Taiwan, which Beijing claims is its self-governing island, remains the most problematic.
In August, Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker, visited Taiwan. China then staged massive military drills in an unprecedented act of intimidation. It also cancelled several US-China cooperation projects.
Since then, US officials have stated that they believe China has accelerated the timeline for seizing the island. Biden suggested in later comments that Washington would back Taiwan militarily if attacked.
Tuesday’s meeting will see Xi and Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, meet in person. It will be the first leaders-level meeting between these countries since 2019.
This is another highly anticipated meeting in which both sides will seek to mend ties that have rapidly deteriorated during the initial days of the pandemic.
Canberra had criticised Beijing’s lack of transparency regarding the origins and spread of the Covid pandemic. This led China to suspend ministerial contact as well as impose trade embargoes on many Australian products.
China is Australia’s biggest trading partner. Albanese asked Beijing to lift trade restrictions shortly after he ushered in his centre-left government in May.
Australia’s actions to improve security and defence ties among NATO members have upset China. The two countries are now competing for influence on Pacific Island countries that the West has long neglected.
Swift following the visit of Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor, to Beijing this month. Beijing confirmed a meeting between Xi (China) and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron in Bali.
Undoubtedly, Macron will feel the pressure to deliver on Ukraine after Scholz got Xi declaring that China opposes nuclear weapons. This is a rare admission since Beijing usually doesn’t openly criticise Russia’s actions.
Macron will also look to improve ties between China & the European Union after a tense conversation between Xi, EU leaders, and later called a “tense call.” “dialogue of the deaf”.
Xi will also seek to strengthen trade relations with France and to distance Europe form the United States.
Officials from Indonesia have confirmed that Xi will meet President Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) during his visit.
The Indonesian leader, after eight years of dictatorship, is trying to increase his international influence by negotiating peace talks with Russia and Ukraine.
He had several phone calls with Xi during pandemic, and he last visited China in July.
Jokowi wants to improve economic ties with China’s largest trading partner. However, a major China-funded railway has been plagued by delays in construction and concerns about China’s excessive debt.
Xi will be meeting Fumio Kishida, the Japanese Prime Minister, on Thursday at the APEC summit.
China-Japan relations have fallen to a low ebb since Tokyo adopted a more hawkish position on security issues, including Taiwan and China’s territorial claims in South China Sea. This was in line with Washington.
Tokyo still requires Beijing’s support on the North Korean nuke issue, despite China’s reluctance of using stronger measures against its volatile neighbour.