Change the chip
The tension between the two largest economic powers on the planet rises, including unprecedented speeches in Beijing. This despite apparently contradictory practices, such as the ease of issuing visas to US citizens.
It is rare to see Xi Jinping directly attacking the Biden Administration, at least in the terms used at the close of the “Two Sessions” – CP Congress and National People’s Assembly, in Beijing.
“Western countries, led by the US, are implementing measures of containment, encirclement and outright repression against us,” said Xi Jinping. And, even more forcefully, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs: “If the United States does not put the brakes on, and continues on the wrong path, there is no safety net to prevent the train from derailing. Thus, there will certainly be conflict and confrontation,” warned Qin Gang.
The priority of Chinese foreign policy is clear: to recover the global circulation of people, goods and services, which for decades was at the center of its growth model. In 2022, China recorded 115 million cross-border trips; far below the 2019 pre-pandemic level of 670 million. In that same year, the entry of foreigners on the Continent represented 97.7 million trips – a number reduced last year to 4.47 million.
Even close US allies are responding to Beijing’s reopening. Canberra, for example, abolished the PCR tests that it required of Chinese tourists.
However, Washington does tighten the grip; and reacts to the lifting of visa restrictions for China by urging its citizens to reconsider any travel to China, including Hong Kong and Macau, due to the “arbitrary application of local laws” and the “risk of wrongful detention”.
After Biden’s meeting with Xi Jinping in Bali, there were no signs of detente again. And it wouldn’t be during the “Two Sessions” in Beijing; stages more suited to the nationalist narrative. But it’s time to change the chip. On one side… and on the other. The future cannot always wait.
*Director General of PLATAFORMA
Este artigo está disponível em: Português