Meeting with Xi: Blinken's China trip a success?

After his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Beijing's chief diplomat Wang Yi, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also met President Xi Jinping for talks on Monday. Europe's press sees this as an important signal, even if the discussions seem to have produced few concrete results.

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Vladimir Fesenko (UA) /

Good news

The US-China dialogue is advantageous for Ukraine, political scientist Volodymyr Fessenko writes on his Facebook page:

“The resumption of political dialogue between the US and China is good news for us and not so good news for Russia. Russia has an interest in the intensification of the confrontation between the US and China in their conflict over Taiwan. This would partially divert US attention from Ukraine and dramatically boost China's rapprochement with Russia. An at least relative normalisation of relations between the US and the PRC is in Ukraine's interest.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Beijing needs growth and investments

Economic interests also played a role in the meeting between Xi and Blinken, jutarnji list comments:

“The Chinese economy is not doing well, and this is one of the main reasons why US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was received at all levels of government. Industrial growth and retail trade have stalled, the People's Bank of China is cutting interest rates and investors are waiting for stimulus measures at the fiscal level. ... Partly because of this, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People's Republic of China, met Blinken at the end of his visit in the Great Hall of the People, where heads of state are received. ... It is in this light that the meeting must be juged.”

La Stampa (IT) /

A cautious approach

At least a basic course for the future has been charted out, La Stampa emphasises:

“Not much was expected. And not much came out of it, either. This was not a negotiation and not a summit, war and peace were not at stake. Antony Blinken's visit to China was merely a test of whether the world's two great powers are capable of managing their competition and rivalry. Apart from a mutual willingness to try, nothing definitive emerged. The course now embarked on could lead to a meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden before the end of the year. Yesterday's meeting was diplomacy to set the stage for more diplomacy. No small achievement, given what's at stake.”

ABC (ES) /

Important for peace and prosperity

ABC hopes relations will take a turn for the better now:

“Blinken's visit is in line with a commitment made by Washington and Beijing at the G20 summit in Bali in November 2022. Back then both countries were urged to take action to avoid misunderstandings that could result in a military conflict. ... We must hope that the path taken by Blinken will be productive because this is important not only for global peace and security, but also for the planet's economic prosperity, which is threatened by the geostrategic confrontation between the two countries.”

Badische Zeitung (DE) /

Somber outlook regarding the Taiwan conflict

More than a cautious rapprochement is not to be expected at present, writes Fabian Kretschmer, China correspondent for the Badische Zeitung:

“The list of contentious issues between the US and China is almost endless. And on the key issues even the most imaginative experts can't detect any compromise solutions on the diplomatic horizon. ... The most explosive of the contentious issues is undoubtedly Taiwan. It is all the more sobering that, according to Antony Blinken, Beijing has not agreed to a direct communication channel between the two countries' armies. So the international community will have to tremble with fear once more should it come to unforeseen escalations and miscalculations involving the island again.”

Arkady Dubnov (RU) /

Moscow under pressure

Commenting on Facebook, foreign policy expert Arkady Dubnov sees the US and China already on a course of détente:

“Blinken's two-day, many-hour diplomatic marathon in Beijing, where he was first received by the former and current Chinese foreign ministers and only at the last moment was it confirmed that Xi himself would receive the guest in what was meant to look like the ultimate summit of Chinese palace ceremonial, has brought Blinken close to the highlights of Kissinger's career. However, Russian propaganda will doubtless insist that global leadership by the US-China tandem does not in any way call into question the strategic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Time is not on Xi's side

Xi Jinping is finding it increasingly hard to turn China into the world power he envisions, Dagens Nyheter observes:

“The cracks in the Communist Party structure are widening. The economy is struggling - and it seems to be a structural problem. For some years now the country has been plagued by a real estate crisis resulting from to huge investments. ... At the same time the US in particular, but also Europe, are increasingly on their guard. Technology transfers are limited and supply chains are being reorganised. ... There can be no doubt about Xi's ambitions. But the ability to realise them should not be overestimated, at least as long as the free world plays its cards right.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Coexistence instead of global disorder

The US will have to make a big effort, political scientist Charles A. Kupchan advises in La Repubblica:

“Americans will have to make a leap in their political imagination to coexist with a major power whose political system poses a threat to them and is at odds with their messianic commitment to spreading democracy. The alternative would be an unbridgeable geopolitical divide and a deepening of global disorder. The two countries could, for example, normalise their military contacts and separate discussions about transnational issues such as climate change, global health and trade from those on thornier issues such as Taiwan and human rights.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Drive a wedge between Beijing and Moscow

The time has come to rethink basic foreign policy concepts, says Večernji list:

“With the biggest war since World War II raging in Europe and posing a serious challenge to the US's political will and resources, Washington must first and foremost ask itself whether it is in its own interest to continue a policy that is driving Xi's China ever more firmly into Putin's embrace. ... While anti-Chinese hardliners in Washington have been calling for a decoupling of the US and China for months, perhaps it is time for a decoupling of Beijing and Moscow.”

France Inter (FR) /

Reduce tensions resulting from intense competition

France Inter stresses the importance of a détente between the two states:

“A single visit will not defuse the tensions. The rift between Beijing and Washington has become too great to be overcome by a few hours of talks. ... The situation was summed up well by Kurt Campbell, US Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs. 'Intense competition requires intense diplomacy if we are to deal with tensions,' he said on the eve of the visit. In plain English: Americans and Chinese must learn to disagree without running the risk of starting World War III at every moment.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Avoid misunderstandings

The Daily Telegraph also sees Blinken's visit to China primarily as a way of defusing potential conflicts:

“The talks may not advance much, but they could halt the downward spiral in the relationship. Mr Blinken said one objective was to establish mechanisms of crisis management to reduce the risk of a dangerous miscalculation on both sides as well as to explore potential for co-operation. Some will criticise the absence of any strictures over China's human rights record; but, as Churchill put it, meeting jaw to jaw is better than war.”