After decades of concentrating its fighting power in the Middle East, the US is now shifting its focus to Asia amid Chinese aggressiveness.

The United States shifting its military focus since last year from the Middle East to Asia. Taiwan and North Korea have replaced Afghanistan and Syria where American propaganda about its global ideals is concerned, reported European Times.

Recently, Xi Jinping and Joe Biden met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. At best, the three-hour-long face-to-face meeting formalized the status quo that sets the preliminary dance between China and the US.

It was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since both became heads of state. It was the first unmasked meeting between them after the pandemic.
In terms of domestic politics, both were meeting after consolidating their respective positions in their countries. Xi came to Bali after getting a third term of power at the 20th party congress.
Biden arrived after surviving a Republican scare that never materialized in the just-concluded US midterm elections.

Ultimately, while the meeting must have given Biden a first-hand impression of personality changes Xi has undergone since becoming president – both have interacted several times in the past when neither was president, REPORTED European Times.

There is enough in the world media on what Biden said about Taiwan, North Korea and the Ukraine conflict. But the world is not clear about what the Chinese side thinks of the meeting other than the single statement that they talked “bluntly” about all issues.

“Pointing out that the world is at a major inflection point in history, Xi said that countries need to both tackle unprecedented challenges and seize unprecedented opportunities, adding that this is the larger context in which the two sides should view and handle China-US relations. China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other,” Xi said.

The world knows Biden raising the Taiwan issue with Xi, but the essence of Xi’s response can be confirmed by Xinhua’s quote from their president: “Xi also gave a full account of the origin of the Taiwan question and China’s principled position. He stressed that the Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.

Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese and China’s internal affair…China hopes to see, and is all along committed to, peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, but cross-Strait peace and stability and ‘Taiwan independence’ are as irreconcilable as water and fire….Xi said that China hopes that the US side will act on this assurance to real effect.”

This makes it clear that there was no relaxation in the rigid attitudes of Xi and Biden on all the critical issues, reported European Times.
Moreover, China is concerned about the United States shifting its military focus last year from the Middle East to Asia.

As NPR (National Public Radio) points out, the outcome of the meeting boils down to this: “Both Chinese and American militaries have recently been beefing up their capabilities in case of a conflict over Taiwan. For Washington, this is also a part of the broader paradigm shift in its strategy in the Indo-Pacific region. After decades of concentrating its fighting power in the Middle East, the US is now shifting its focus to Asia. China is watching closely, too. Xi recently appointed a new slate of top military leaders from China’s Eastern Theater Command, which encompasses Taiwan, indicating that going forward, the island is a priority for China’s fighting forces.” (ANI)