roach159_BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIAFP via Getty Images_bidenxi Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Biden and Xi Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s San Francisco summit was a significant improvement on last year’s meeting in Bali. In particular, the two leaders made progress on achievable objectives, including the resumption of military-to-military communications and joint efforts to address the fentanyl crisis.

NEW HAVEN – “A Better Biden-Xi Summit?” was the title of my commentary last month, and the emphasis was on the question mark. With good reason: Last year’s summit in Bali was a flop. Owing to poor preparation and an overemphasis on slogans (setting a “floor” for the troubled US-China relationship), any effort to ease tensions was quickly scuttled by the US downing of a Chinese surveillance balloon in February. There were no guarantees that the meeting in San Francisco would be any better.