A year after their meeting in Bali, Indonesia, US President Joe Biden met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in San Francisco. The meeting came on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) which was held in California, near the Pacific Ocean.
The importance of this meeting lies in checking the measures of the mutual ties between both countries and the temperature of relations between the two countries to detect the upcoming direction of the world order.
It was the first time for both presidents to meet and talk since the US shot down a Chinese spy balloon in February over American airspace.
This meeting also came in light of the fierce trade and economic war between the two forces for their strategic position at the top of the global system.
In addition, it was held in the wake of the Taiwan issue as Beijing claims sovereignty over the island, which lives under autonomous rule.
This meeting is also an opportunity to enhance confidence that would convince China to accept the restoration of the military hotline between the two powers after it was cut off by China in 2022 when the Speaker of the US House of Representatives back then, Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan.
Both presidents understand that the nature of international relations has completely changed. The loser is the one who focuses only on reading the Geopolitical maps without taking the current complex international environment into consideration and thinks that the current events can be approached within the framework of classic conflicts trapped in territorial, political, or strategic horizons.
However, what is happening here and there makes a dynamic world with rules that go beyond the borders of the sovereign state and in a progressive organization framed by various actors that cannot be counted or stopped.
The US is still topping the strongest military power globally, and it could be said that the US is the only force that can deploy its soldiers around the world. However, military power is no longer the determining factor within the framework of the new world order. It is not like it was during the Cold War.
Because, this force no longer achieves the expected traditional goals that were wanted by ancient conflicts due to Globalization, and the current global factors. Therefore, we started to witness various manifestations of the weakness of major global forces and the rise of minor global forces on the international scene.
This new weakness has started to characterize the major powers accordingly with the successive crises that are defined by the determinants of this new order. This new order that characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity, and apprehension in an unorganized world.
We also moved from the principle of sovereignty of the states to various forms of connection and mutual dependence, and from the rule of the supremacy of military power to the ability of the rising states (economically) to destabilize the old world order, and from territorial integrity to the factors of permanent “movement” and from the Clausewitzian approach of war based on the conflict of states to the one based on the disintegration of internal societies.
In other words, we are facing the fall of the Westphalian system that started in 1648.
The US is aware that China recognizes these new rules. On the other hand, China is aware that America is concerned over these new rules. In addition, China is confident of the correctness of its steps as it has built its path to earning a good position according to the new world order and to engage in tactful evasion, caution, and sobriety without agitation or showing any interest in dominating other countries.
China successfully understood the concepts of globalization and embraced its domains intelligently and successfully. The state is not a state with a “proselytizing” nature that is based on exporting the intellectual, societal, cultural, economic, and political models like Western countries, including the US and France.
Those countries, helped by various theorists and academics, believe that the world states can only reach safety by fully implementing their models, otherwise, they will remain outside history...
China was and still is a country that works quietly and without causing problems, in addition, it is working on establishing a system of itself as a country that does not interfere in the civilizational, economic, and political model of other countries. In addition, it asserts that the economic success achieved by a country does not mean that the other must fail or be forced to fail within the framework of the “friend-enemy” dichotomy.
But in the context of “win-win," this explained why President Biden stressed, during this visit, that he still considers Xi a “dictator.” He repeated this privately and publicly. It is a term that is repeated and used by the leaders of France, Germany, and Britain.
He is reimagining the approach that the US adopts with the West on behalf of countries that don't belong to their ideological geography.
Those concepts look familiar to the Chinese regime and it no longer cares about it. In addition, it also expresses the West’s progressive lack of non-Western environments such as China.
A crystal clear example of that is the US President correcting his words by saying that the dictator, means that he is a man who “runs a country, a communist country, based on a system of government that is completely different from ours.”
Of course, the Chinese President won't hear such thoughts while dealing with two-thirds of the countries in the world that are connected with China today, like the African countries that gradually started to abandon the life and style of the old colonies and Western countries to step into new trade relations with various global forces such as China, Russia, and others.
These countries no longer accept the current rules of the running world order or the desire of major Western forces. It is no longer possible. The Western system politically, economically, socially, and culturally lost a lot of its attractiveness and its ability to export these products.
For example, western countries need thousands of serious papers to understand the economic, political, social, and cultural systems of countries like China and India. Today, they are constantly succeeding in influencing a world order in a comfortable and seductive way.
Translated by: Rana Atef