After almost a year of difficult bilateral relations, the China-US summit ended with a positive outcome

Biden calls for US place in Asia-Pacific, Xi Jinping for improved relations in Latin America

REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE -Fotografia de familia en la cumbre del Foro de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC) en San Francisco, California, EE.UU., el 16 de noviembre de 2023
photo_camera REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE -Family photo at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 16, 2023

The meeting held by President Xi Jinping and Joe Biden in San Francisco, USA, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic leaders' meeting, will realise the two leaders' international aspirations. It is about sitting down honestly to solve the problems that impede the healthy development of global relations. 

El presidente estadounidense Joe Biden le da la mano al presidente chino Xi Jinping en la finca Filoli al margen de la cumbre de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC), en Woodside, California, EE.UU., el 15 de noviembre de 2023
REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE
REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE - US President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Woodside, California, US, 15 November 2023

China and the United States have had decades of formal exchanges that underpin their understanding of the importance of their relationship with the world. The relationship between the two must be based on open and effective communication. They should operate in an environment characterised by trust, always seeking mutual benefit above their own interests.

The world is witnessing unprecedented changes in human history that require the advancement and development of technology to create a better, more prosperous and war-free world. 

"The world is big enough for two countries to succeed, and the success of one country is an opportunity for the other," Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the meeting with his counterpart Joe Biden with a constructive attitude and consistently maintained the maxim "in context" that defines not only China-US relations, but also the reality of the world. In a turbulent environment where conflict and bloc division threaten peace, Washington and Beijing must refuse to abandon each other, form a zero-sum mentality or try to rebuild the other. 

The development of the People's Republic of China has had a positive impact not only on North America, but also on many countries and regions. It is no exaggeration to say that the success of one side in relations is an opportunity for the other side and, by extension, for the rest of the international community.  

According to a White House statement, US President Joe Biden noted that China and the United States are "competing with each other" and stressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping that "the United States will continue to invest in American energy sources at home and will continue to do so in the future". 

El presidente de China, Xi Jinping, habla en el Evento de Altos Líderes Chinos celebrado por el Comité Nacional de Relaciones EE.UU.-China y el Consejo Empresarial EE.UU.-China al margen de la cumbre de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC) en San Francisco, California, EE.UU., 15 de noviembre de 2023
REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA
REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA - Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the Senior Chinese Leaders Event held by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the U.S.-China Business Council on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., 15 November 2023

Xi Jinping's requests and demands 

On the other hand, President Xi said: "I still believe that competition among major countries is not the trend at this time". He stressed that the Earth plays an important role in the success of both countries and that the success of one country is an opportunity for the other. 

President Xi Jinping "is confident of a bright future for bilateral relations" as long as the countries find the right way to deal with each other. In a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement, President Xi stressed that "China has no intention to overtake or dethrone the United States" and added: "Therefore, the United States should not plan to oppress or blockade China." 

REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIRA - El presidente chino Xi Jinping durante la Cumbre de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC) en San Francisco, California, EE.UU., 16 de noviembre de 2023
REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIRA - Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco, California, USA, 16 November 2023

This was the first time the two had seen each other, as both rarely left their respective countries. President Xi congratulated Mexican President Lopez Obrador on the "path of progress and reform" Mexico has taken in the five years since he took office and expressed his determination to raise relations between the two countries to a "new level". Xi also stressed the importance of cooperation in key sectors such as infrastructure, finance and electric vehicles, and López Obrador said Mexico would encourage Chinese companies to invest in the country, Chinese state media reported. 

López Obrador went a step further and expressed his willingness to develop relations between China and Latin America. In recent years, in the face of tariffs and restrictions on US operations, many Chinese companies have moved part of their production to Mexico. With this, the Eastern superpower has become Mexico's second largest trading partner, behind only the United States. 

AFP / PRESIDENCIA MEXICANA - Esta fotografía publicada por la Presidencia mexicana muestra al presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (izq.), y al presidente de China, Xi Jinping (dcha.), dándose la mano después de una reunión privada durante la Cumbre de Asia
AFP / PRESIDENCIA MEXICANA - This photo released by the Mexican Presidency shows Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shaking hands after a private meeting during the Asia-Pacific Summit

Joe Biden's claims and requests 

The US president expressed concern about China's human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. He reiterated that "the one-China policy has not changed and called on his counterpart to refrain from military action around the Taiwan Strait, saying that neither side is opposed to unilaterally changing the status quo. 

AFP/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS  - El presidente chileno Gabriel Boric habla con el presidente chino Xi Jinping en la Semana de Líderes del Foro de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC) en San Francisco, California, el 16 de noviembre de 2023
AFP/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS  - Chilean President Gabriel Boric speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week in San Francisco, California, USA, on 16 November 2023

Biden also enunciated his concern over China's "unfair trade policies", non-market economic practices and punitive measures against US companies. According to him, the US will take the necessary steps to avoid unjustified restrictions on trade and investment and prevent the use of advanced US technologies to undermine national security. 

The US has also raised the issue of detaining US citizens or denying them entry to the Asian country. Biden told a news conference after the meeting that he had provided the names of detainees to secure their release, but no agreement had been reached. With relations strained, the two leaders could be criticised for "revealing weaknesses" in restoring relations between the two countries, especially Vice-President Biden, who is under pressure for re-election. 

The China-Latin America alliance 

Despite US resistance to market opening, trade between Latin America and China will reach a record level in 2022, with exports of goods to China reaching $184 million (about €169.5 million) and imports reaching $265 million, according to university analysis by the Center for Global Development Policy. 

El presidente de Estados Unidos, Joe Biden, y el presidente chino, Xi Jinping, asisten a una reunión bilateral en la finca Filoli, al margen de la cumbre del Foro de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC), en Woodside, California, Estados Unidos, el 15 de noviembre de 2023
REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE
REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE - U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a bilateral meeting at the Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023

Diplomatic relations between Latin America and China have also strengthened in recent years. Last March, Honduras followed Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic in establishing diplomatic relations with China and severing them with Taiwan. 

All have renounced the autonomous island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory and a key US ally in the Asia-Pacific, in exchange for recognising the "one China" principle. It imposes this principle as the basis for its diplomatic relations with other countries, which means that the only Chinese government it can recognise is its own. 

Americas Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra 

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