support@englishmadhyam.in +91 772-2987-077
Building the floor

Building the floor: On the U.S.-China summit meeting, lessons for India

Moves by the U.S. and China to stabilise their rocky relations hold lessons for India

This week’s summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco is unlikely to resolve any of the major differences that plague relations between the world’s two biggest powers. It has, however, offered the promise of much needed respite for the world by stabilising a relationship that has recently been in free-fall and brought growing concern. The summit, on the sidelines of APEC, yielded two significant takeaways . The first involved several concrete agreements, including to restart military-to-military direct dialogue and to discuss risk and safety issues involved with artificial intelligence. The second is what both sides have described as establishing a floor to the relationship. That was the goal when the two leaders last met in Bali in 2022. The Bali consensus was, however, blown away by the “spy balloon” incident. This time there is cautious optimism that this attempt at stabilisation has been built on more solid ground . But how long it will last remains an open question, especially with two potentially disruptive political events looming on the horizon . In January next year, Taiwan goes to the polls, and the outcomes could see a further ratcheting up of tensions across the strait . On Taiwan, both sides reiterated their stands, with China cautioning against interference, and the U.S. saying it opposed any change in the status quo. Meanwhile , the U.S. will, next year, go into election mode ahead of polls in November 2024, and campaign season inevitably brings heated rhetoric on China.

A longer term concern — and one that underlines the limits of this modest stabilisation — is a basic point of difference in how they see the future of their relations. As Mr. Xi put it, “the number one question” was whether they were “ adversaries or partners”. He criticised U.S. framing of the relationship as being fundamentally competitive, saying it would lead-to “misinformed policy making, misguided actions, and unwanted results”, and asked it to “ refrain from flip-flopping , ... and crossing the lines” on issues including Taiwan and export controls. Mr. Biden, however, “emphasised that the U.S. and China are in competition” and described the immediate challenge as how to “manage it responsibly”. These differences aside, one crucial point of agreement is the apparent realisation that high-level engagement and open channels are key in preventing competition from sliding into conflict. This offers clear lessons to the India-China relationship, as the crisis along the Line of Actual Control enters its fourth winter. Dialogue in and of itself is not a concession , and as the U.S. and China have realised, building a floor, when ties between major powers are at the risk of free fall, is the first step.

-

Summit (noun) – Conference, meeting, congregation, assembly, gathering

शिखर सम्मेलन

-

Optimism (noun) – Hopefulness, positivity, confidence, sanguinity, assurance

आशावाद

-

Consensus (noun) – Agreement, concord, unanimity, accord, harmony

सहमति

-

Artificial intelligence (noun) – AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like humans.

-

Concrete (adjective) – Tangible, solid, real, actual, specific

ठोस

-

Takeaway (noun) – Conclusion, lesson, message, implication, inference

निष्कर्ष

-

Yield (verb) – Produce, generate, bear, provide, furnish

पैदा करना

-

On the sidelines (phrase) – not actively involved; observing rather than taking part

के मौके पर

-

Free fall (noun) – a rapid decline that cannot be stopped.

गिरावट

-

Stabilise (verb) – Steady, secure, solidify, anchor, firm

स्थिर करना

-

Rocky (adjective) – Unsteady, shaky, wobbly, unstable, flimsy

अस्थिर

-

Resolve (verb) – Settle, solve, address, clarify, determine

सुलझाना

-

Differences (noun) – Disagreement, argument, dispute, variance

मतभेद

-

Plague (verb) – Afflict, torment, trouble, beset, harass

परेशान करना

-

Respite (noun) – Break, pause, interval, relief, hiatus

राहत

-

Strait (noun) – a narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two other large areas of water.

-

Reiterate (verb) – Repeat, restate, reemphasize, reaffirm, echo

दोहराना

-

Status quo (noun) – Existing state, current condition, present circumstances, established order, prevailing situation

वर्तमान स्थिति

-

Meanwhile (adverb) – Simultaneously, concurrently, at the same time, in the meantime, during this period

इस बीच

-

Inevitably (adverb) – Unavoidably, necessarily, surely, without fail, certainly

अनिवार्य रूप से

-

Rhetoric (adjective) – a way of speaking or writing that is intended to impress or influence people but is not always sincere

लफ्फाजी, बयानबाजी

-

Ratchet up (phrasal verb) – Increase, escalate, intensify, amplify, heighten

बढ़ाना

-

On the horizon (phrase) – Approaching, forthcoming, upcoming, in the offing, imminent

निकट आ रहा है

-

Stabilisation (noun) – Definition: The process of making something stable or steady

स्थिरीकरण

-

Ground (noun) – Basis, foundation, footing, bedrock, substratum

आधार

-

Last (verb) – Endure, persist, continue, survive, remain

चलना

-

Potentially (adverb) – Possibly, conceivably, maybe, feasibly, plausibly

संभावित रूप से

-

Disruptive (adjective) – Disturbing, unsettling, interrupting, disorderly, chaotic

विघटनकारी

-

Loom (verb) – Appear, emerge, approach, hover, impend

मंडराना

-

Concession (noun) – Compromise, allowance, adjustment, accommodation, yielding

समझौता/ रियायत

-

In and of itself (phrase) – by itself; without considering anything else.

अपने आप में

-

Apparent (adjective) – Obvious, clear, evident, manifest, noticeable

स्पष्ट

-

Flip-flop (verb) – Vacillate, waver, oscillate, alternate, change frequently

बार-बार बदलना

-

Refrain (from) (verb) – Abstain, desist, hold back, avoid, eschew

से बचना

-

Lead (to) (verb) – Result in, cause, bring about, give rise to, culminate in

वजह बनना

-

Adversary (noun) – Opponent, enemy, rival, antagonist, foe

विरोधी

-

Underline (verb) – Emphasize, highlight, stress, underscore, accentuate

जोर देना

-

Ties (noun) – Bonds, connections, relationships, links, affiliations

संबंध