US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has issued a warning, stating that the United States and China could potentially escalate into conflict if their intricate and competitive relationship is not adeptly managed. The caution comes ahead of the anticipated summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leadership meeting.
Scheduled for Wednesday, the meeting gives an opportunity for the leaders to address key issues, notably the complex and competitive nature of the US-China relationship. Sullivan emphasized the significance of effectively managing this relationship to prevent it from devolving into conflict or confrontation.
A primary focus of the discussions is expected to be the Taiwan Strait, with President Biden having the chance to engage on strategies for maintaining peace and stability in the region. China's assertive actions in the Indo-Pacific will also be on the agenda.
Taiwan, a contentious topic, is likely to be a key point of discussion, given China's sovereignty claims over the self-ruled island. With elections scheduled for early next year, China has conducted provocative military exercises around Taiwan as a warning against moves toward independence.
In addition to Taiwan, the meeting is expected to cover a range of global issues, including the Israel-Hamas conflict, the war in Ukraine, human rights concerns, and trade disputes. The Biden-Xi dialogue follows a deterioration in bilateral relations, notably marked by Beijing cutting off major communication channels with Washington in August of the previous year.
Efforts to restore dialogue faced setbacks, including an incident in February when a US fighter jet shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon over American airspace. Despite these challenges, the US has engaged in diplomatic efforts, dispatching several high-ranking officials to Beijing in recent months.
National Security Advisor Sullivan highlighted the importance of managing these issues through intense diplomacy. The goal is not only to navigate challenges but also to generate positive outcomes. that yield tangible progress for both nations. One area of potential progress is the issue of fentanyl, with hopes for advancements during the summit.
Sullivan indicated that while the US has managed various issues through diplomacy, the focus is on achieving concrete results that benefit the American people. The summit provides an opportunity for cooperation on shared concerns, potentially paving the way for further collaboration in areas beyond conflict management.
As the leaders prepare to meet in San Francisco, the world watches closely, recognizing the critical role the US and China play in shaping global geopolitics and the potential consequences if their complex relationship is not carefully navigated