Xi and Biden seek ways to manage differences and avoid conflicts
The two leaders meet for the first time since the US president took office in January 2021. Both sides are looking for ways to lower geopolitical tensions. Washington is ready to work with Beijing on global issues. Both oppose the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukrainian conflict.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – The presidents of China and the United States, Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, met today in Bali for three hours before the start of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island, scheduled for 15-16 November.
For the two leaders, this is their first direct meeting since President Biden took office in January 2021. Not much was expected from their tête-à-tête, except finding ways to manage their differences and avoid conflict.
Since the Trump presidency, the two powers have been engaged in a trade war and a technological clash, and do not see eye-to-eye over the future of Taiwan, which is de facto independent, but is claimed by communist China as one of its provinces.
In their talk, the two leaders spoke of the need to set boundaries to avoid miscalculations.
Xi said China and the United States must chart the right path and find the right direction in their relations, which must be boosted. Beijing has made no secret of its concern over the current state of affairs.
For his part, Biden stressed that the United States is ready to work with China on issues of global concern such as economic stability, climate change, food and health security, and developing countries’ debt.
In a readout of the meeting, the White House noted that the US wants to keep the lines of communication with China open, but that it will continue to invest in its own defence and adjust its efforts along with its allies and partners around the world.
Biden raised the issue of human rights in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong with Xi. On Taiwan, he said Washington opposes changing the status quo. According to Chinese media, Xi warned the United States not to cross the red line regarding the island.
According to US sources, Biden and Xi reiterated their opposition to the use or threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Yesterday at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang slammed the “irresponsibility” of nuclear threats in a veiled attack against China’s Russian partner over its possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Speaking to AsiaNews, a Chinese military expert stressed, however, that strong moral strength is needed to dissuade Russia from considering the use of nuclear weapons, something that, in his view, China lacks.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to travel to China shortly to follow up on the Biden-Xi talk.
How the meeting between the two leaders pans out will be seen indirectly from tomorrow's meeting between President Xi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, as well as a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Bangkok on Thursday.
Relations between China, on the one hand, and Australia and Japan, on the other, have become increasingly tense over the past few years.