Apec Summit: Biden, Jokowi Hold Discussions Ahead Of Key Meeting With Xi
Joe Biden, the President of the US, greeted his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo at the White House on Monday as the leaders engage as part of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in San Francisco, where Washington hopes to reduce friction with Beijing.
The two sides agreed to new cooperation in defence sectors, including cybersecurity, space, combined exercises and nuclear threats, according to the White House. Additionally, they agreed on efforts to enhance air quality and support the electrical grid.
Biden would announce a MoU between the two sides on sustainable energy and mineral development. Meanwhile, Jokowi, as the Indonesian president is known, appealed to the US to do more to “stop the atrocities in Gaza, while highlighting the need for a ceasefire.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority nation. Several Muslims around the world have expressed displeasure at Biden’s support for Israel after Hamas killed at least 1,200 in Israel. Palestinian authorities, meanwhile, have raised the death toll in Gaza to at least 11,000.
Will Biden-Xi Bilateral Bring An End To Simmering Tensions?
There is a lot at stake in the Biden-Xi meeting. The US president is set to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Wednesday for face-to-face talks. The discussions shall come nine months after controversy surrounding a Chinese spy balloon saga sent relations to a new low.
While the bilateral won’t end the simmering tensions between the world’s biggest economies, it is a sign that the two sides want to maintain relations, despite trade tensions, tit-for-tat sanctions and questions over the future of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has called the US and China “economically interdependent”. Last month, Xi told a visiting US congressional delegation that there were “a thousand reasons to make US-China relations better, and no reason to make them worse.”
Washington hopes to resume military communications, besides expecting cooperation on managing the raging climate emergency and fentanyl trafficking. Xi will hold a banquet with US executives, an effort to show his country is open to foreign businesses.