Biden and Xi Will Struggle to Repair U.S.-China Relations

Biden and Xi Will Struggle to Repair U.S.-China Relations
U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit meeting, in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 14, 2022 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Juliet Capulet, leading lady of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet,” is an unlikely metaphor for the diplomatic conundrum currently facing Southeast Asian countries. But her response to Romeo Montague, when he swears by the moon that his love for her is true despite the feuding between their respective families, could very well characterize their reaction to this week’s meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the G-20 leaders’ summit in Bali, Indonesia.

“O, swear not by the moon, th’inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable,” the practical-minded Juliet tells the idealistic Romeo.

Similarly, as encouraging as the three-hour meeting between Biden and Xi was, it is but one stopping point in what promises to be a long and difficult road ahead for bilateral relations between the two global powers.

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