It is of paramount significance for the global community, transcending the interests of China and the USA alone, that their leaders convene in San Francisco for the regular APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting, slated for November 15 this year.
The world's collective gaze converges on this event, recognizing the inherent goodness in the tête-à-tête between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joseph Biden. A year has elapsed since their last encounter in Bali, Indonesia, at the G20 summit, during which a myriad of developments unfolded, marked by high-profile American visits to Beijing by dignitaries such as Anthony Blinken, Janet Yellen, and Gina Raimondo.
October witnessed the pivotal visit of Wang Yi, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Washington, where the minutiae of the impending meeting between Xi and Biden were meticulously ironed out. Wang Yi, however, cautioned that reaching an understanding in San Francisco requires more than an "autopilot" approach; it necessitates sincere determination from the U.S.
to treat China respectfully as an equal partner. Recent talks between Janet Yellen and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister He Lifeng in Washington centered on economic issues and mutual trade, establishing a constructive foundation for the forthcoming summit.
Both parties recognized the importance of proactive communication to preclude misunderstandings from escalating into disputes. The issues flagged by the U.S. in discussions with China, notably Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, the South China Sea, and human rights, underscore the delicate diplomatic terrain.
China, with a historical memory of Western humiliations spanning centuries, faces scrutiny for its authoritarian governance under the one-party rule of the Communist Party of China. In the contemporary interconnected world, where certain nations possess formidable nuclear arsenals, diplomacy becomes imperative to assuage discord and prevent catastrophic consequences.
The meeting between the leaders of these powerful nations represents a step toward diffusing tensions and fostering understanding. Amidst these diplomatic maneuvers, the visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to China holds significance, given Australia's role in the Quad and its familial ties within the "Five Eyes." China's increasing investments in Australia and its status as the largest foreign landowner in the country add nuance to the dynamics, hinting at the potential for enhanced cooperation.
As the world yearns for reason and solidarity, the meeting between Xi and Biden assumes even greater importance, offering hope for constructive dialogue. While breakthroughs may not be guaranteed, the frequency and continuity of such engagements are vital.
The Australian-Chinese collaboration preceding the summit augurs well for a more constructive tone, fostering optimism in averting nuclear conflict—a sentiment consistently emphasized in joint statements following meetings between Chinese and American leaders.
The forthcoming summit in San Francisco, along with anticipated bilateral meetings, holds immense importance in steering global relations toward resolutions through agreements rather than the horrors of conflict witnessed in regions like Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian territories.
The prospect of diplomatic negotiations exerting a positive influence remains, providing a beacon of hope for a world yearning for stability and cooperation.