GGiven that Xi Jinping considers the Sino-US relationship to be the most important bilateral relationship in the world, two major international crises currently played a minor role in his meeting with Joe Biden: the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East received relatively little coverage. .
A senior US government official said after a four-hour conversation on Wednesday at Villa Filoli, south of San Francisco, that Biden had raised concerns about Russia’s war against Ukraine. The president is saddened that Beijing has sided with Moscow. Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said Monday that U.S. intelligence agencies have not yet discovered that China is supplying Russia with weapons that will be used in the war.
Biden continues to push for two-state solution
On the war in the Middle East, government spokesman Xi Jinping said Biden demanded that China use its weight to deter Iran from provocations and escalation. Later at a press conference, Biden was questioned in detail about the situation in the Gaza Strip. In one respect he changed his language.
When asked if he had given Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, a deadline by which he would be ready to support the operation in the Gaza Strip, he answered with surprising detail: he thinks the operation will end when Hamas no longer has orders forces to carry out the operation. attack Israel. But he’s not a fortune teller. So he doesn’t know how long it will take. He then added: “Ultimately, the violence will not stop until a two-state solution is found.”
Biden recalled that he told Netanyahu that he believed it would be a big mistake for Israel to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. This won’t work. He started to explain, but soon stopped. Attempts are being made, he began, and then added: It’s better not to talk about it now. After all, negotiations are currently underway with Arab states and other parties about next steps.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently proposed that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah take over post-war governance of the Gaza Strip. Shortly after, Netanyahu rejected the statement and recalled that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had not yet condemned the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack.
In fact, there are considerations in Washington and Europe for Gaza to be administered after the war by an autonomous authority supported by some Arab states. Reunification of the Palestinian territories – Gaza Strip and the West Bank – could revive the concept of a two-state solution.
Left-wing Democrats distance themselves from Biden
Notable in this context is Biden’s statement that the military operation in the Gaza Strip could end when Hamas no longer has the ability to attack Israel. Until now he expressed himself differently. Destroying extremists is a necessity for Israel, he said several times in October, and when asked, he reiterated that Hamas must be completely eliminated.
Democrat Biden is under pressure within his party over his apparent support for Israel: the party’s left is distancing itself. In addition, diplomats protested against the government’s course, and it is not only the Arab electorate that is threatening punitive measures. Young voters and parts of the African-American electorate are also moving away from Biden.
The issue of military assistance to Ukraine and the Middle East has not been resolved
A year before the presidential election, wars in the Middle East and Ukraine are increasingly becoming a domestic political problem for the president, especially since the issue of further military assistance has still not been resolved. On Thursday, Congress went into a nearly two-week recess. Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated in America next week. The new interim budget was passed early to avoid a federal administration shutdown. But this does not include military aid to Israel or Ukraine.
There are cross-party majorities in both chambers supporting the relief packages. But Democrats who control the Senate want to consolidate the packages into resolutions, as Biden has proposed. Republicans, who make up the majority in the House of Representatives, have already passed a resolution that provides only military assistance to Israel. The group is divided over the issue of aid to Ukraine, which new Speaker Mike Johnson must take into account. Biden submitted an emergency budget request that included 60 billion for Ukraine and 14 billion for Israel. 14 billion is also intended to secure the country’s own southern border to curb the country’s migration crisis.
Some in Congress now fear that funds for Ukraine will no longer be approved because Speaker Johnson has to deal with Ukraine critics in his caucus and isolationist sentiment among Republicans. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, announced that the second chamber will consider Biden’s budget request after the Thanksgiving break. He hopes that an agreement can be found, even if neither side gets everything it wants.
An agreement could be reached if funding for border security were increased. The Senate compromise bill could then be sent to the House. It will then depend on whether the party right will allow Speaker Johnson to present the project in plenary.
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine