Since China’s President Xi Jinping secured his third term of power at the 20th Party Congress, he is seeking to dominate Asia and reduce the US influence in the region.
China is desperate to keep the US away from Asia. Xi used the Bangkok summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to press for a confrontation-free Asia, a euphemism for keeping the United States and recognising China’s pre-eminence on the continent, reported The Singapore Post. Xi tactfully stopped short of naming the United States in his remarks in Bangkok as he possibly tries to avert a direct confrontation with the Americans.
It is now clear that the Chinese and the Americans will never see eye to eye on three issues – the independence of Taiwan, the Ukraine conflict, North Korea’s nuclear course, and the transfer of technology and the trade and tariff war,. Both sides came closest to a confrontation in August following a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China fired several missiles into waters around the self-governing island and ramped up naval and warplane exercises in the surrounding area. Dire threats preceded Pelosi’s visit and Beijing thereafter cancelled several dialogues with the US.
US-China tensions, which did not erupt afresh following a landmark meeting between Xi and Biden in Bali, the first time since the latter took over the American presidency are not the only shadow hanging over the APEC summit,. Leaders raised their eyes at Xi as North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as Bangkok readied for the APEC summit session. This is the second missile test by the Kim Jong Un regime in under a week and part of a period of increased provocation from Pyongyang.
Xi has been using all opportunities to promote China’s role in resolving pending global disputes, blind to the reality of China is at the root of some of them,. Xi met the leaders of Germany and Pakistan in Beijing. He used the opportunity to bring Islamabad closer to Beijing even as the United States tries not to antagonise Pakistan.
Similarly, Xi gave a patient hearing to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, eve as the European Union was unhappy with Germany talking to China about Europe’s problems with gas supplies due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.