The APEC Forum
Let's not get too excited...
For reasons known only to himself, California Gavin Newson admitted that the state was forced to clean up the city and hide the homeless because San Francisco was having people over – important Asian people. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum kicked off today as a heads of states around the Pac-Rim meet to talk trade. The pop-wow is not a summit, but there is a lot of chatter about the proposed side meeting between US President Biden and China’s Xi Jinping: The two have a lot to cover, and if it’s is non-critical window dressing, they might just get to it.
Xi & Co. will presumably attempt to charm US business leaders who are reassessing their exposure to China. But reassessing is probably not the same as a wholesale withdrawal or decoupling, which seems unlikely. This is good news for Beijing as they are now sitting on a mountain of unsold solar panels they had planned to dump on the EU and US.
The big geopolitical issues, however, are probably no-go. But at least they're talking. Or pretending too. A nuclear hotline was established between Washington and Beijing, but the Chinese didn't pick up when it was used.
Literally, they didn't pick up the phone.
Xi has a strange habit of sacking officials right after they meet with their US counterparts, so it’s entirely possible that those (him?) calling the shots in Beijing don’t really know what’s is going on. Evidently, Xi learned about the spy-balloon fiasco from US diplomats. This diplomatic blind-spot will likely continue for as long as the 70-year-old Xi retains power. Fortunately, he’s a chain smoker.