The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which took place this year in San Francisco, showed little noticeable results and remained without wide publicity in the world media. Leaders of countries were able to agree on reforming the World Trade Organization. Also, they agreed on the need to build more reliable relationships regarding finance, trade and security.
At the same time, the final declaration of the APEC summit participants demonstrates that the parties differed on a joint position regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip. These points were not included in the document. However, the APEC Chairmanship issued an individual statement indicating that “the majority of members” of the forum strongly condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine.
In general, it can be noted that the meeting between the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America, which took place on November 15, became the significant and central event of the APEC summit in San Francisco. The meeting lasted four hours, and most topics discussed remained behind the scenes.
What is known about the meeting in general?
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to prepare the meeting and was interested in it being held at the highest level of organisation; he met several times with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of the PRC Politburo Wang Yi; it seemed that everything was discussed, all the details. As a result, President Joe Biden came out to a press conference and called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator.” In the US, experts believe that Biden “ruined everything.” News agency cameras showed Blinken’s surprised and dismayed face at that moment.
- Following the meeting, Chairman Xi made a conciliatory speech: “There is enough room for everyone on the planet; there is no need to quarrel.” It is clear that after Biden’s words, everything returned to its previous course.
- According to Ascolta sources, the parties tried to talk about Ukraine. But the discussion did not work out: the United States demanded that China stop supporting Russia, and China requested that assistance to Ukraine be stopped. As a result, we left this issue “for later.” The fact that the topic of Ukraine and the Middle East was not included in the final declaration shows that the parties did not reach a mutual understanding on these sensitive topics.
- The parties agreed on regular contact at the level of military departments. First, this is important based on the situation around the Middle East, where American and Chinese ships are located. But the problem is also essential for coordinating positions in other potentially controversial regions and hot spots.
- It was agreed to jointly design the “game rules” in the Pacific Ocean.
- President Xi Jinping said the People’s Republic of China has no intention of attacking Taiwan. Therefore, Ascolta’s earlier forecast that the topic of the threat to Taiwan is only an American legend receives additional confirmations.
- President Biden was interested in China’s neutrality during the US presidential elections (no hacking, Trump funding, etc.). The Chinese side made a firm promise.
- President Biden was also interested in China’s non-interference in the elections in Taiwan. Still, the Chinese side could not define the American understanding of “interference” and “non-interference.”
- No agreement was reached on the Middle Eastern matter, so it was decided to continue the negotiation process.
- The issue of Russia was also briefly discussed. Xi Jinping refused to talk about possible support for American sanctions and said that China would be guided by its national interests. He does not believe that the current cooperation with the Russian Federation affects the situation in the conflict zone with Ukraine since China does not provide military supplies to Russia.
We will be able to assess the remaining points or guess about them following the processes that will take place in the world in the coming months. Understanding that insufficient information exists in the public domain, we perceive any other theories and speculations as conspiracy theories. But, it is evident that the scope of topics discussed was much more extensive than is publicly known.
It is important to note that Ukraine put extra hope on this meeting, expecting it would significantly settle the issue of the ongoing military conflict on its territory. But currently, Xi Jinping cannot have a 100% impact on the situation by stopping the war with just one call to Putin. This is a long process, the factor of which must be taken into account. It is obvious that Andriy Yermak’s visit to Washington and the visit of William Burns, the CIA chief, to Kyiv just before and after the meeting of Xi Jinping and Joe Biden in San Francisco were not a coincidence. The West will be developing a new strategy regarding Ukraine soon. Besides, we don’t fully know what this strategy will be. However, we assume that the two leaders’ meetings can force Ukraine and Russia towards the negotiation process.