After Biden, Xi Meeting, Progress on Easy Stuff First; Taiwan, Geopolitics Later

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China and the United States will leverage a rare leadership meeting earlier this week to work on climate and journalist exchanges but put off headier issues such as an Asia Pacific military buildup until relations improve, analysts believe.

U.S. President Joe Biden met Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday via videoconference. Xi defended China’s sovereignty and suggested cooperation while Biden urged reducing the risk of conflict and called out Xi on human rights as well as the fate of Taiwan.

“I just think it opens the atmospherics for cooperation in the easy areas but not on hard security,” said Carl Thayer, Asia-specialized emeritus professor from the University of New South Wales in Australia. The two countries have been rivals since the Cold War, with their actions boosting or challenging other governments from Asia across the Americas.

The U.S. government sees China as a strategic competitor as Beijing seeks to grow…

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