Xi exchanges messages with Biden, Putin
Despite competition, cooperation among major powers remains mainstay of global governance: experts
Published: Jan 01, 2024 09:50 PM Updated: Jan 01, 2024 11:50 PM
Tiananmen Photo:VCG

Tiananmen Photo:VCG

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden exchanged congratulatory messages Monday, the first day of 2024, to mark the 45th anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic relations, after the Chinese leader exchanged New Year greetings messages with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.  

Looking forward to China-US relations in the New Year, experts said although bilateral ties have passed their most intense period, they are still not optimistic due to possible "gray rhino" events, especially as the US has entered its election year. Experts stressed the significance of cooperation among major powers despite inevitable competition as global governance relies heavily on cooperation among these powers.
In his message to Biden, Xi pointed out that he and Biden, during their meeting in San Francisco, laid out a future-oriented "San Francisco vision," charting the course for the development of bilateral relations, Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

He called on China and the US to earnestly implement the important common understandings and outcomes reached by the two heads of state, and take concrete actions to promote the stable, healthy and sustainable development of China-US relations.

Xi stressed that he is willing to work with Biden to continue charting the course of China-US relations, so as to benefit the two countries and their people, and promote the cause of world peace and development. 

Separately, Xi and Putin exchanged New Year greetings on Sunday.

Xi said that in the face of changes unseen in a century and volatile international and regional situations, China-Russia relations have always maintained healthy and stable development, and moved steadily in the right direction in 2023.

Xi said he and President Putin have jointly announced that the two sides will hold 2024-2025 China-Russia Years of Culture, noting that the two countries will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia.

Chinese experts believe that the exchange of congratulations on the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the leaders of China and the US, as well as the exchange of New Year greetings between the leaders of China and Russia, are not only a matter of courtesy and tradition, but also a positive signal. 

While competition between major powers is inevitable, global governance relies heavily on cooperation among these powers, said Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 

 "The exchanges of messages between the leaders of China and the US as well as China and Russia also demonstrates China's global influence," said Zhang, noting that China's indispensable role in global governance has been well recognized by other major powers.

Cui Heng, a scholar from the Shanghai-based China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation, said that China, the US, and Russia still play the most important role in determining global affairs.

"Maintaining normal order among the major powers still has positive value for global security and stability…Maintaining cooperation amid competition is in line with the trend of the times and the interests of most countries," Cui said.

Chinese observers continue to have high expectations of the steady and further development of bilateral relations between China and Russia, especially on cooperation in trade, high technology, global governance and people-to-people exchanges. On the other hand, they are more cautious about China-US ties.

The exchange of congratulations on the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the Chinese and American leaders is a continuation of the San Francisco summit, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

It is widely believed that the bilateral relationship will not deteriorate further, but overall, the US has not taken enough positive actions to repair ties, Lü pointed out. He added that how to advance bilateral relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit is a topic that concerns global development.

As the US enters its election year, Biden finds himself in a very precarious position. In this situation, it is difficult to be optimistic about whether he will take positive steps in US-China relations, Lü said.
The US now emphasizes the need to establish communication channels after a crisis, while China's pursuit is not dialogue after a crisis, but prevention before a crisis. The differences between the two sides on this issue mean that the possibility of a crisis in bilateral relations is always present, he warned.

Therefore, while we actively strive for stable and constructive China-US ties, at the same time, we must also be prepared to respond to possible crises, Lü said.

Also, according to Xinhua, the Chinese president and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s top leader Kim Jong-un on Monday jointly designated 2024 as the China-DPRK Friendship Year and launched a series of activities. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Kim, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and president of the State Affairs of the DPRK, made the announcement in their exchange of New Year greeting messages.