The Global Order Might Be Big Enough for the U.S. and China

The Global Order Might Be Big Enough for the U.S. and China
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 19, 2023 (pool photo by Leah Millis via AP Images).

Between rebellions in Russia, wildfires in Canada and riots in France, a key event from just two weeks ago already seems like ancient history: the high-level diplomatic meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Blinken was supposed to travel to Beijing in February, but that visit was postponed after the U.S. shot down a Chinese “spy balloon” that now appears to have not actually been spying. Now that it finally took place, his meeting with Xi could pave the way for a direct summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Xi, perhaps at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering later this year.

The Blinken-Xi meeting was especially important since it came on the heels of the recent G-7 summit, where Western leaders laid out a plan for tackling the challenge posed by China’s rise and the resulting multipolar world order. The U.S. and China may not be in a “Cold War,” but they are definitely competitors, states whose rivalry will shape the course of international politics in the 21st century. Hence, any insights that can be gleaned on the state of U.S.-China relations are worth evaluating.

And the insights to be gleaned are, dare I say, encouraging. Indeed, the visit points to three ways in which the relationship seems to be trending in a positive direction.

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