Presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto. LEHTIKUVA

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Finnish Presidential Candidate Pekka Haavisto commented on the meeting between U.S. President Biden and Chinese President Xi in California. Via a message on a X (Twitter) communication platform, Haavisto highlighted the meeting's impact on the predictability of relations between the United States and China, which also affects Finland and the EU's relations with China.

During his campaign, Haavisto noted that a common concern was the risk of deteriorating U.S.-China relations leading to a global conflict. "One of the most frequently asked questions on the campaign trail has been whether the deteriorating relations between China and the United States could lead to a new, perhaps global, conflict,” he wrote in his post.

”The Biden-Xi meeting seems to have brought back some level of predictability to these relations. The options of decoupling or reducing critical dependencies and risks in Western relations with China have been discussed, with the U.S. appearing to opt for the latter. The U.S. has continued to expand trade restrictions, especially in the export of technology and advanced semiconductors to China,” Haavisto wrote in his post.

”Both countries have shown a strong interest in easing tensions. The U.S. is engaged in supporting Ukraine and Israel, and an escalation in Taiwan would be detrimental. China, on the other hand, is grappling with challenges like declining birth rates, aging population, and youth unemployment.”

”The meeting between the U.S. and Chinese Presidents indicated positive developments in international relations. President Biden emphasised cooperation on climate change, AI development, and anti-drug efforts. Importantly, the two countries have restarted direct military communication.”

”The most politically sensitive topic was Taiwan. President Xi reiterated China's stance on eventual unification with Taiwan but did not expressly communicate an active desire to use military force. President Biden, on his part, insisted that China refrain from interfering in Taiwan's upcoming presidential elections, which could result in a change in the current administration and a more dialogic approach towards China.”

”This meeting's central message at the political and diplomatic level was the restoration of predictability to U.S.-China relations, impacting Finland and EU's relations with China as well.”

Helsinki Times reached Presidential Candidate Pekka Haavisto during his campaign trip in Finland’s Pohjanmaa where he was heading to Kokkola to meet and address his supporters and other citizens.

During a phone interview, Haavisto told Helsinki Times: The recent Biden-Xi meeting signalled a return to stability in US-China relations, essential after the period of heightened tensions marked by incidents like the Chinese balloons. This renewed communication, especially the reestablishment of the US-China military hotline and collaborative efforts in AI and climate change, is a positive development, not just globally but also for Finland and the EU.

Discussing the shift in the US's stance post the Pelosi visit to Taiwan, Haavisto acknowledged the need for a multipolar world and highlighted China's role in global affairs, including their participation in discussions on the Zelensky peace plan and active presence in international events. He also touched upon the concept of 'decoupling' and ’de-risking' in Western relations with China, noting the alignment of US and European strategies in reducing dependency on critical sectors.

Haavisto then spoke about the transition from globalisation to regionalisation, a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift has prompted Europe to rethink its over-dependency on China for essential materials.

Looking ahead, Haavisto doesn't foresee a world divided into blocs like during the Cold War. He sees simultaneous developments, like the growing EU-India relations, as evidence of ongoing global cooperation despite existing tensions.

Regarding Finland's role in the EU and NATO, Haavisto emphasised the importance of contributing Finnish perspectives and analysis in global politics. He highlighted Finland's engagement with the Nordic countries as an example of regional collaboration without forming a specific bloc.

Discussing the US's focus on Ukraine and Israel, Haavisto expressed concerns about the potential impact of US presidential elections on their foreign policy, emphasising Europe's interest in continued US support for Ukraine.

Finally, Haavisto viewed the Biden-Xi meeting as a step towards reducing the risk of global conflict, noting the restoration of trust in some areas and the importance of ongoing dialogue for addressing complex issues like Taiwan's future.

Short Biography and Introduction of Pekka Haavisto

Pekka Haavisto: A Prominent Figure in Finnish Politics

Pekka Haavisto, a seasoned Finnish politician and member of the Green League, has been a notable figure in Finland's political landscape for several decades. Born in 1958, Haavisto has an extensive background in environmental issues, international relations, and human rights, all of which have been central themes throughout his political career.

Political Career Highlights:

  • Haavisto first entered the Finnish Parliament in 1987 and has since held various significant roles in Finnish politics.
  • He served as the Minister of Environment from 1995 to 1999 and later as the Minister for International Development from 2013 to 2014 and again from 2019, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2019 to 2023.
  • His expertise in international affairs is well-regarded, having been involved in numerous UN and EU missions, particularly in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.

Presidential Races:

  • Haavisto has been a candidate in the Finnish presidential elections multiple times, with his first attempt in 2012 marking a significant milestone. He reached the second round of voting, ultimately finishing as the runner-up. This achievement was notable as it was the first time a Green League candidate had progressed so far in a presidential election in Finland.
  • In the subsequent presidential race, Haavisto again represented the Green League. While he did not reach the same level of success as in 2012, his candidacy was significant in maintaining the visibility and influence of the Green League in Finnish national politics.

Poll Performance:

  • Throughout his political career, Haavisto has enjoyed varying degrees of support in polls. His popularity has often been attributed to his diplomatic approach to politics, his advocacy for environmental issues, and his stance on human rights.
  • In presidential election polls, Haavisto has been seen as a strong candidate, particularly among voters who prioritise environmental issues and international diplomacy.

Recent Years:

He was holding the position of the Minister Of Foreign Affairs in the previous government during which Finland joined NATO. Haavisto has continued to play a vital role in Finnish politics, focusing on international relations and environmental issues. His views on global affairs, particularly relating to the dynamics between major world powers like the US and China, are highly respected both nationally and internationally.

HT

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