Monday, July 15, 2024

  • Spy balloons, Beijing’s rapid nuclear buildup, and Washington’s crackdown on advanced computer chips are the major topics dividing the US and China. While the White House is debating what China’s leader will see when looking out of his window during his visit to California this week.
  • China’s diplomats are concerned about what Mr. Xi will see and want to ensure protesters are not visible during his visit. Every aspect of their time spent together will be highly choreographed to defuse tensions and significant agreements may not emerge from the meeting.
  • The suspension of military-to-military communications and potential negotiations about keeping artificial intelligence software out of nuclear command and control systems are among the issues under consideration.
  • No joint statement is planned and each government will provide its own account of the discussions. American officials do not expect changes in China’s behavior, and the relationship between the U.S. and China will not be based on engagement but old-fashioned diplomacy.
  • China expects the US to assure that no new Cold War is being sought, despite tensions such as the US building alliances in the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s ambitions and potential conflict over Taiwan.
  • Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi will also discuss the war in Gaza, and strategic nuclear promises from Chinese officials are unlikely.
  • Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi are expected to discuss the war in Gaza and the strategic nuclear discussion may lead to a broader nuclear discussion. Beijing has close ties to Iran, and Mr. Biden doesn’t want an expanded war in the Middle East to occur.
  • Mr. Biden’s advisers are betting that the Chinese have been surprised by efforts to build stronger diplomatic ties with other leaders.

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