In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Mehdi Shapouri considered the recent meeting between the presidents of China and the United States as a new beginning for the relations between the two countries after two years of tension and stated: After the visit of the former speaker of the US House of Representatives to Taiwan, relations between the two countries became tense and the flight of Chinese balloons over the US soil added to the tensions to the extent that in the past two years, political relations of the two countries reached the lowest level since the end of the Cold War.
Recalling that under such conditions, the level of trade relations not only did not decline but also increased during the Biden period, he said: In the military field, the two countries have significant differences in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, and in this context, security tensions also prevail among them. After the visit of the then-speaker of the US House of Representatives to Taiwan and the incident of Chinese balloons, relations between the two countries’ military forces were broken, and tensions increased.
Stating that it should be seen whether the recent meeting can reduce the high level of tension created during the two years, the analyst of strategic issues said that the main issue in that meeting was the management of tensions and cooperation on common global affairs and noted: Issues such as controlling the negative consequences of artificial intelligence, environmental problems, and contagious diseases are among the global issues that the two countries want to work on. What has been very important for the US and what they tried to achieve in their relations with China during the past two years was the restoration of relations between the two countries’ military forces.
Shapouri continued: The disconnection between the militaries of the two countries had raised the possibility of miscalculations and misunderstandings between them in the South China Sea and around Taiwan, and this concern existed especially on the American side that as a result of misunderstandings or misconceptions, the differences between the two countries will enter the stage of military crisis. But based on what was announced, they concluded such relations should be restored. Of course, this achievement was one of the goals that the Americans were looking for, and the Chinese did not want to do it.
The researcher of the Institute of Strategic Studies pointed to the negotiations between the two countries about controlling the negative consequences of artificial intelligence and added that China and the United States are seeking to prevent its destructive effects on the relations between the two countries and the world by managing the negative consequences of artificial intelligence. In any case, they must move towards negotiations; if they do not cooperate, both sides will suffer many losses due to tensions and differences in their relations.
While referring to the discussions on the issues of the global environment and the control of contagious diseases, Shapouri recalled that such cooperation had reached a low level. Even the environmental cooperation between China and the United States was cut off after the tension in relations escalated, and its consequences were considered destructive for the whole world. Previous experience showed that the meeting between the two presidents could not reduce tensions and manage differences. The events prevented the effectiveness of the last meeting between the two countries’ presidents. Even now, although the two countries have to cooperate on some issues and agree on managing tensions, it is still impossible to say whether the agreements will lead to a practical result.
He listed the control of the drug problem as another issue raised in the meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping. He continued: In recent years, it has been discussed that the Chinese are the leading supplier of chemicals for the production of a type of drug that is produced in Mexico and sold in the United States. The US has become sensitive towards this issue, and topics discussed between the two presidents show that the Chinese president has agreed to pursue this issue. If this issue is implemented, it will be a significant success for the United States.
Recalling that the President of China declared that Taiwan is the biggest and most dangerous issue facing the relations between the two countries, Shapouri pointed to Biden’s emphasis on the previous position of the United States in this regard and stated: The United States claims that there is no change in the policy of “one nation, two states” regarding Taiwan and if China does not put pressure on Taiwan, the same approach will continue.
He referred to the news published about the negotiations between China and the United States regarding the Zionist regime’s war against the Resistance in Gaza and asking China to talk with Iran to prevent the spread of the war, as well as about Iran’s nuclear program, and added: The two countries, despite their differences, agree on one thing which is not to let the Iran nuclear issue turn into a regional crisis. Talks have also been held regarding Ukraine, and China’s position has been intermediate. So far, the US is probably satisfied with the continuation of this approach, and China, despite the Russians’ wishes, does not want to change its approach.
He considered the implementation of the agreements to be dependent on the developments that would happen in the relations between the two countries. Referring to Biden calling Xi Jinping a dictator after meeting with him, he stated: It should be seen whether the Chinese would violate the agreement to reestablish military relations because of such remarks by Mr. Biden or not if they once again conclude that establishment of relations between the military forces of the two countries should be delayed, it shows that the meeting was not successful.
Emphasizing that there are severe differences between the two countries and the verbal tensions in the relations between the two countries will increase. Still, it is unlikely that the vocal tensions will lead to field conflicts, he added: Biden, this time, unlike the previous time when in response to a reporter who asked if he still considers Xi Jinping as a dictator, he replied yes, explained that the Chinese political system is different from the American political system. It seems that by giving such explanations, he showed that he had moderated his positions a bit compared to the previous time. In any case, such statements are not acceptable to the Chinese, as the agreements made after last year’s meeting did not bring any results or improve the relations between the two countries. In general, the differences between the two countries do not disappear, and at most, the two countries can reach temporary compromises. However, this situation has made the relations between the two countries more unpredictable.