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Biden-Xi Summit

Why in the News?

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for three and a half hours in the first virtual bilateral meeting between the two leaders since Biden assumed office in January this year.

What Was Discussed?

  • Both leaders discussed the complex nature of relations between both countries and the importance of managing competition responsibly.
  • According to a White House handout on the meeting, President Biden underscored that the United States will continue to stand up for its interests and values and, together with its allies and partners, ensure the rules of the road for the 21st century and advance an international system that is free, open, and fair.
  • He also raised concerns about China’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as human rights more broadly.
  • Indo Pacific also came up for discussion during the meeting with the US President reiterating the importance of freedom of navigation and safe overflight to the region’s prosperity.
  • According to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Xi emphasized the necessity of a sound and steady relationship between the two countries.
  • The Chinese leader also expressed his readiness to work with President Biden to build consensus and take active steps to move China-US relations forward in a positive direction.
  • Xi on his part raised the issue of US support to Taiwan, and of alliances and groupings that created “divisions” in the world. This was a reference to the Quad grouping, which includes India, and the AUKUS deal among Australia, UK and US to deliver nuclear-powered submarines to Canberra.

What is Quad?

  • ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ (QSD), the Quad is an informal strategic forum comprising four nations, namely — United States of America (USA), India, Australia and Japan. One of the primary objectives of the Quad is to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • The group met for the first time in 2007 on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • It is considered an alliance of maritime democracies, and the forum is maintained by meetings, semi-regular summits, information exchanges and military drills of all the member countries.

What is AUKUS?

  • Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. have announced(on 15 September 2021) a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific called AUKUS.
  • As part of this, Australia will acquire nuclear-powered submarines with help from the U.K. and the U.S.
  • AUKUS will also involve a new architecture of meetings and engagements between the three countries, as well as cooperation across emerging technologies like applied AI, quantum technologies and undersea capabilities.

What is India’s interest in the Biden-Xi meeting?

  • A US-China talks process is something that India watches very closely.
  • India and China have been locked in a border standoff for more than a year and a half now, New Delhi is part of the Quad, and its strategic alignment with the US has been very clear and categorical.
  • US administrations under both Presidents Trump and Biden have viewed China as a strategic rival.

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