US Biden, Chinese Xi discuss avoiding confrontation on second call
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with US Vice President Joe Biden (left) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2013.
Lintao Zhang | Reuters
BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden spoke for the first time since February on Friday.
It was the second call between leaders since Biden took office in January, as tensions between the world’s two largest economies simmer.
President Biden underscored the United States’ enduring interest in peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world and the two leaders discussed the responsibility of the two nations to ensure that competition does not conflict, ”the White House said in a statement. a reading of the appeal published on Friday morning.
Chinese state media confirmed the call soon after.
Xi said in the report that, “on the basis of respecting each other’s fundamental concerns and managing differences well,” the relevant departments of the two countries can engage in climate cooperation, prevention of Covid, economic recovery and major international and regional issues.
He said that if there is a “confrontation” between China and the United States, “both countries and the world will suffer,” while all will benefit if the two countries work together. This is according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese text.
The state media report also included a description of Biden’s comments, including a remark that: “The two countries have no reason to clash because of competition.”
The two leaders last spoke to each other just before Lunar New Year – China’s most important holiday – in February during a call Biden said lasted two hours.
Friday’s call, which lasted around 90 minutes, discussed a range of transnational issues and touched on economic issues, although this aspect of U.S.-China policy remains under review, Reuters reported, citing a senior official in the US administration. The two leaders are able to be upfront and honest with each other without lecturing each other, the official said.
The United States must focus on rallying partners and allies, the official said in the report.
The two countries forge regional ties
Biden’s strategy for dealing with China has centered on working with traditional allies of the United States. The previous Trump administration took a more lonely approach by imposing tariffs and sanctions on China in an attempt to address long-standing complaints from companies about unequal market access and the forced transfer of technology.
The geopolitical landscape became more complex this summer with the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban in a region that shares a border with China.
In recent months, China and the United States have redoubled their efforts to forge political and economic ties with regional partners.
Xi said at a virtual meeting of the five BRICS countries – China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and India – on Thursday that Beijing will chair the BRICS summit next year and looks forward to working more with member countries, according to official media.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired this year’s meeting.
This fall, India will join the United States, Japan and Australia for a face-to-face meeting of the so-called Quad leaders. Reports say the rally could take place as early as this month.