Read at www.nytimes.com
China and the United States have resumed talks on issues such as North Korea, Iran, and curbing the flow of fentanyl. The negotiations indicate a tentative detente in their relationship following a summit near San Francisco in November. However, there is a fundamental disagreement on how to define the relationship, with the Biden administration seeing it as a strategic competition and China rejecting this framing and proposing a 'San Francisco Vision' of stabilizing relations and putting competition aside.
The developments point to a tentative detente struck by Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi at a summit near San Francisco in November and both the potential and the limitations of that thaw in relations.
The talks also highlight the fragility of the current reset, especially in an election year when Mr. Biden may face pressure to be tough on China. The divergence in rhetoric reflects the differing views on the relationship, with the U.S. emphasizing strategic competition and China seeing competition as code for containment. Concerns over cybersecurity are also a factor, with Chinese hackers increasingly targeting U.S. infrastructure.
The divergence in rhetoric highlights the fragility of the current reset, especially in an election year when Mr. Biden will come under pressure to be tough on China, and as concerns rise over warnings by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Chinese hackers were ramping up plans to infiltrate U.S. infrastructure in the event of a war.
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