Counternarcotics and Fentanyl: A Pledge for Cooperation
President Joe Biden concluded several hours of meetings with President Xi, emphasizing the constructive and productive nature of their discussions. Among the key outcomes, President Biden announced the restarting of cooperation between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on counternarcotics.
Addressing the Evolving Fentanyl Challenge
Highlighting the evolving challenge of fentanyl, President Biden recalled China’s significant reduction in direct shipments to the U.S. in 2019. However, he pointed out the shift towards fentanyl chemical ingredients and pill presses being shipped without controls, contributing to a rise in deaths. Notably, more people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 to 49 die from fentanyl than from guns, car accidents, or any other cause.
Tangible Steps to Combat Fentanyl
President Biden announced decisive action to reduce the flow of precursor chemicals and pill presses from China to the Western Hemisphere. Emphasizing the potential to save lives, he expressed appreciation for President Xi’s commitment to the issue. Both leaders tasked their teams with maintaining policy and law enforcement coordination to ensure the effectiveness of the measures.
Military-to-Military Contacts Resume for Global Stability
A critical development emerged as the U.S. and China decided to resume military-to-military contact. President Biden highlighted the importance of clear, direct communication to avoid misunderstandings that could lead to accidents or miscalculations. This step is crucial for maintaining global stability and preventing conflicts.
Navigating Artificial Intelligence Risk
Acknowledging the global concern over the impact of artificial intelligence, President Biden announced plans for experts from both countries to discuss risk and safety issues associated with AI. The goal is to determine the useful, dangerous, and acceptable aspects of AI, reflecting a collaborative approach to technology.
Managing Competition and Cooperation Responsibly
President Biden reassured the world that the United States would compete vigorously with China while managing the competition responsibly to avoid conflicts. He stressed the importance of working together in areas where interests coincide, citing the successful collaboration on counternarcotics as an example of responsible diplomacy.
A Broad Spectrum of Global Issues Discussed
President Biden and President Xi exchanged views on various regional and global issues, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza. President Biden raised concerns about detained and exit-banned U.S. citizens, human rights issues, and coercive activities in the South China Sea.
Diplomatic Approach to Economic Practices and Stability
President Biden objected to Beijing’s non-market economic practices disadvantaging American businesses and workers. While addressing these concerns, he welcomed the positive steps taken during the meeting, highlighting the importance of implementing a diplomatic approach in the best traditions of American diplomacy.
Preserving Global Stability through High-Level Diplomacy
In a commitment to maintaining global stability, President Biden emphasized the paramount importance of open communication with competitors. Additionally, he stressed the need for clear dialogue to avoid misunderstandings, thereby affirming the key role of diplomacy in delivering for the American people. This approach underscores the administration’s dedication to fostering transparency and collaboration on the international stage.
Future Diplomatic Pursuits with China
Looking ahead, President Biden expressed the intent to continue high-level diplomacy with China in both directions. Moreover, he emphasized the ongoing preservation of open lines of communication between himself and President Xi, ensuring that either leader can pick up the phone and be heard immediately. This commitment solidifies the foundation for sustained collaboration and understanding between the two nations.