Historic meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping: “Competition, but never conflict”

Elizabeth Smith

The meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping ended after just over three hours. The two, having just met, greeted each other with a warm handshake.

A summit, on the eve of the G20 in Bali, which comes after months of tense confidential negotiations, clashes over the Russia-Ukraine node and the Taiwan issue. But it also has the common declared objective of not exasperating relations between the two great superpowers.

Meeting Biden and Xi Jinping, the historic face-to-face

‘Competition, but never conflict’. President Joe Biden declared this a few hours before his departure for the G20 in Bali. And it was also confirmed by the declarations of intent before the meeting between the head of the White House and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

It was an eagerly awaited bilateral. Despite the fact that it had been presented exclusively as interlocutory by the main international observers, given the still significant distances between Washington and Beijing on the main international dossiers.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the opportunity to hold this historic face-to-face. The first in a year, even though the last time was only remotely. “As leaders of the world’s leading economies, we must manage the competition of our two countries,” Biden reiterated.

“It’s a pleasure to see you again since the last time, in 2017,” the Chinese president said before welcoming the American proposal to “find the right course of relations through frank exchanges.” “Nothing can replace face-to-face talks,” Biden echoed him, “We must manage differences and prevent competition from escalating into conflict.

Meeting Biden and Xi Jinping, what was discussed

Xi Jinping then went into the specifics of relations between the two countries. Which remain very cold on many issues, from Ukraine to the reunification with Taiwan dossier. “At present, relations between China and the United States are in such a situation that we are all very concerned about it, because this is not the fundamental interest of our two countries and our peoples, and it is not what the international community expects of us”.

In his brief remarks at the start of the bilateral, the Chinese president stressed that “as leaders of the two major countries, we must chart the right course for US-China relations. We must find the right direction for bilateral relations in the future and elevate them’.

According to Xi, “the world expects China and the US to manage their relations appropriately. Our meeting attracted the world’s attention. So we must work with all countries to give greater hope for world peace. Also, greater confidence for global stability, and strong impetus for common development”.

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