By Meng Xiangjun, Chief Reporter of International News, China News Network
(ECNS) -- To International observers, the China-U.S. relationship is deemed one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships. Recently, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, Chinese President Xi Jinping held face-to-face talks with U.S. President Joe Biden, with their meeting drawing global attention.
Swaran Singh, Indian scholar, professor at the University of British Columbia, and professor for diplomacy and disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University, gave his insights on China-U.S. relations to China News Network.
Prof. Singh said that the U.S. and China are the largest and second largest economies of the world, leading nations on innovation and technology, and also the largest trading partners of each other, with meetings between both presidents “always important to the world”.
In this three-hour-long conversation between Chinese and U.S. top leaders, the greatest achievement in Singh’s view is a joint statement that both presidents made, agreeing that nuclear threats should not be used anywhere.
Singh thinks both leaders understand the development trajectories of their countries, also their roles in regional and global affairs. Biden mentioned he wants common ground for building possible partnerships, and ensure competition does not become conflict, a similar sentiment expressed by Chinese President Xi.
It's a good sign that both leaders have agreed they want to build partnerships where possible and create more coordination in certain areas, Singh pointed out.
Singh also noted difficult moments in China-U.S. relations. For example, the four years under former U.S. President Trump were filled with debates about trade and technology wars, and the Taiwan question was also complicated during that period.
Singh mentioned that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the Taiwan region in August, which also created certain tensions in China-U.S. relations. Biden has mentioned several times that the U.S. “will come to defend Taiwan”, while every time when there is U.S. official visited the area, the White House would reaffirm that “there is no change” in U.S. policy toward the region, he noted.
When meeting with the Chinese president, Biden mentioned that the U.S. believes in the One-China principle. To Singh, what understandable is that if the U.S. does not endorse the One-China principle, tensions would arise. He said that the bilateral meeting of the two leaders happened after the visit by Pelosi to Taiwan region, and may create possibilities that further official regular meetings would be revived between both countries.
Asked how China and the U.S. could improve their relations, Singh pointed out that both countries are looking at their global roles, as to how they wish to lead various initiatives around the world. They both understand that cooperating and coordinating with each other is prerequisite, for example, on issues of climate change and security. Some of that understanding was visible in the meeting this time.
Furthermore, how important are China-U.S. relations to the Asia-Pacific region and world?
Singh observed that almost for two decades, the Asia-Pacific region has been driving global growth, and that is where most of the rapidly growing economies are located. Almost the whole world is focusing on Asia-Pacific or the Indo-Pacific region.
The U.S., Germany, France, and the U.K, Singh listed several countries that has came out with Indo-Pacific strategies one after another, with Canada soon to follow. That shows there is much more interest around the world now in engaging the Asia-Pacific region, which is the growth center of the future.
“Incidentally, that region is the immediate neighborhood of China,” Singh noted, adding “indeed, China is the largest economy in the region”. He thinks that the last forty years of China’s economic miracle must be seen together with the rise of Asia Pacific region.
“China's growth as an economic power is a reality, that has to be understood,” Singh said. He is sure most of the countries mentioned above understand that fact and are trying to make sure they are able to win certain partnerships with China.