Biden, Xi hold 3-hour meet on sidelines of G20 summit: Here’s what they talked about


NEW DELHI: President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a landmark three-hour-long meeting on Monday in their first in-person meeting since the US president took office nearly two years ago. Both leaders are in Bali, Indonesia, to attend the G20 summit.
Xi and Biden greeted each other with a handshake before they sat down for formal talks. The discussions were aimed at “managing” differences between the superpowers as they compete for global influence amid increasing economic and security tensions.

The two leaders spoke candidly about their respective priorities and intentions across a range of issues including Taiwan, Ukraine-Russia war, nuclear threat and North Korea. “Biden and Xi reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won and underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” the White House said.
Mutual cooperation
“As the leaders of our two nations, we share responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation,” Biden said to open the meeting.
Xi called on Biden to “chart the right course” and “elevate the relationship” between China and the US. He said he was ready for a “candid and in-depth exchange of views” with Biden.

“We have very little misunderstanding with China … We just have to figure out where the red lines are and … what are the most important things to each of us going into the next two years,” Biden said.
Before the meeting, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said China was committed to peaceful coexistence but would firmly defend its sovereignty, security and development interests.
“It is important that the US work together with China to properly manage differences, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation, and bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady development,” she said.
Xi, according to the Chinese government’s account of the meeting, “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.”
The two leaders agreed to have US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travel to Beijing to continue the discussions.
Taiwan and other flashpoints
As president, Biden has repeatedly taken China to task for human rights abuses against the Uyghur people and other ethnic minorities, crackdowns on democracy activists in Hong Kong, coercive trade practices, military provocations against self-ruled Taiwan and differences over Russia’s prosecution of its war against Ukraine.
Chinese officials have largely refrained from public criticism of Russia’s war, although Beijing has avoided direct support, such as supplying arms.
Taiwan has emerged as one of the most contentious issues between Washington and Beijing. Multiple times in his presidency, Biden has said the US would defend the island — which China has eyed for eventual unification — in case of a Beijing-led invasion.

But administration officials have stressed each time that the US’s “One China” policy has not changed. That policy recognises the government in Beijing while allowing for informal relations and defense ties with Taipei, and its posture of “strategic ambiguity” over whether it would respond militarily if the island were attacked.
Tensions flared even higher when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August, prompting China to retaliate with military drills and the firing of ballistic missiles into nearby waters.
The two men have held five phone or video calls during Biden’s presidency.
China not planning to invade Taiwan: Biden
Speaking at a news conference after concluding the nearly three hour sit-down, Biden said that when it comes to China the US would “compete vigorously, but I’m not looking for conflict,” adding that, “I absolutely believe there need not be a new Cold War” with the rising Asian nation.
Biden further said that he did not believe China had “imminent” plans to invade Taiwan as he gave an upbeat assessment of talks with President Xi Jinping.
“I do not think there is any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan,” Biden said.
(With inputs from agencies)





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