Asia-Pacific Summit Unlikely to End in Revived US-China Friendship
© AP Photo / Eric RisbergSigns welcome visitors to the APEC Summit, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
© AP Photo / Eric Risberg
The US is hosting the APEC summit for the first time in over a decade, and Presidnet Joe Biden will meet his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines. But geopolitical analyst, journalist and author KJ Noh said the two had few interests in common any more.
Sino-American relations are unlikely to improve at this year's Asia-Pacific Summit on the US west coast, says a pundit.
This year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is in San Francisco, the California city that has become notorious for drug addiction and homelessness.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend and will meet privately with his US counterpart Joe Biden. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said Biden wants to restore a military hotline between the Pentagon and Beijing's defence ministry, out of use since tensions over the breakaway Chinese province of Taiwan escalated last year.
Geopolitical analyst KJ Noh told Sputnik that APEC was just a "glorified business convention" which was "focused around trade liberalization."
He played down hopes of a thawing of relations between Beijing and Washington at the meeting.
"I don't think Xi was all that enthused about coming to San Francisco to meet with Biden," Noh said. "We didn't know until, I think, Friday whether it was confirmed that he was coming or not."
The activist said the ball was very much in Biden's court to show that he is serious about building bridges.
"The US has been insisting on a meeting. It is a signal that it wants to de-escalate tensions. And so I think the Chinese want to see if those intentions are sincere," Noh argued.
He noted that Xi has already met with California Governor Gavin Newsom — a member of Biden's Democratic Party who has been touted as his possible replacement as presidential candidate next year's election — ahead of the summit.
"Gavin Newsom was playing a bit of the role of kind of the warmup band, and he sent a very positive overtures to the Chinese government," Noh said.
The commentator underlined the irony of the US hosting APEC when its leaders were no longer interested in its core purpose of trade liberalization — something which the Chinese economic powerhouse is building via its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
"They want to enclose the economic system. They want enclosed trading partners, what they call supply-chain resilience," Noh pointed out. "But it really is a kind of decoupling that they want. They want neo-mercantilism, protectionism, and they see a free trade now as a liability."
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