President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored their obligation to the world to prevent conflict during hours of discussions on Monday. Biden added that the US believes that it is the job of the United States and China as world leaders to guarantee that their competitiveness will not swerve into a war.
In addition to COVID-19, the US and China dispute on trade, competitiveness, China’s developing nuclear weapons, and increased pressure on Taiwan.
Xi said that Biden is an old friend, and both sides must work together to overcome obstacles. Biden had earlier denied their acquaintance was an old one.
On the other hand, Xi said via an interpreter that being the world’s two of the largest economies and all-time members of the UN Security Council, China and the United States must further deepen their communication and collaboration.
On the Indo-Pacific, Biden pledged to discuss topics like human rights, saying that USA and China have never been that formal.
The Indo-Pacific talks
Biden’s idea was to begin the discussions at 7:46 p.m. Monday (0046 GMT Tuesday) to improve the relationship.
Following a nearly two-hour first meeting that extended half-hour longer than scheduled, according to Chinese state media, the two sides had a 15-minute break before continuing their discussion.
A small number of media joined Biden in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to see the two leaders’ initial exchanges before they spoke alone. A massive screen in the meeting room displayed the Chinese president’s face.
Interestingly enough, Biden and Xi haven’t met in person since Biden became president. However, they last spoke via phone in September.
China’s plan to buy $200 billion more than that in US products and services has been delayed, even according to officials. Tariffs on Chinese imports, which Beijing and trade groups want to reduce, are off Biden’s agenda.
What does the White House say?
The White House has refused to specify if the US would send representatives to the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February. People and politicians pushed the Biden government to ban the Games.
Scott Kennedy, a Chinese researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, further adds that both sides attempt to establish the call’s purpose to prove stability in the relationship. The challenge, however, is to know whether they agree to differ and avoid escalating.
Visions that are competitive
Ahead of the Olympics and next year’s Communist Party congress, Xi wants to avoid worsening US-China tensions.
On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhao Lijian said that the United States and China should meet halfway, boost exchanges and partnerships while effectively managing differences, and appropriately resolve sensitive issues to achieve mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence.
Xi cautioned against a recurrence of Cold War tensions, while Biden reiterated the US commitment to an open and free Indo-Pacific.
Not only Taiwan. The Pentagon has warned that China is substantially boosting its atomic weaponry and missile projects.
For now, Beijing is prepared to speak provided; Washington has reduced its nuclear arsenal to China’s level.
In a statement, Republican Senator Bill Hagerty said they would protect their allies and neither embrace nor condone China’s destructive acts.