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In picking up the phone to Xi Jinping, has Biden just blinked first in the great showdown between America and China?

16 5 21

US President Joe Biden this week telephoned Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The call was the first direct contact between the two men since February. Fairly unremarkable, right? Not quite.

The exchange did not produce any solid commitments between the two countries, yet a White House readout of the conversation stated that the two countries had pledged “the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,” ensuring that no miscalculations taken place and that they will compete within stable boundaries. A de-escalation of sorts, even if in words only.

NEWS: Biden and Xi held their second phone call tonight. The discussion was initiated by President Biden after lower-level talks with PRC officials over the last few months were not fruitful and the U.S. got frustrated by Beijing’s lack of serious engagement, per admin official.

Later, an anonymous US administration official commented that Biden had made the call because attempts to talk with China through lower-level officials kept failing. Recent summits between the US and China, involving Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, in Alaska and Tianjin respectively, had turned into public spats and a“war of words” between the two sides, resulting in a more hostile response from Beijing than anticipated. This mode of diplomacy was clearly not working, and as a result Biden had to go direct to his counterpart.

This is a small and subtle psychological and political scalp for Beijing, which, through the art of standing up to America, exploited a weakness in Biden which was not present in his predecessor Donald Trump. How so? China has, by tactfully........

© RT.com

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