The virtual summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping began on Monday evening, with the White House master stressing that there should be “security barriers” between the two countries to avoid a “conflict” between them, while his Chinese counterpart called to improve “communication” between Beijing and Washington.
At the start of their summit aimed at easing the high tension between the US and China over Taiwan and other sensitive issues such as trade and human rights, Biden said that “the rivalry between the two countries should not transform. in a conflict, whether intentional or not. “
For his part, Xi said that “China and the United States should improve their communication and cooperation”, expressing the pleasure of seeing his “old friend” for the first time on the screen, after the last two telephone conversations.
“I am ready to cooperate with you,” added the Chinese president, addressing his US counterpart.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters earlier in the day that the summit, which began at 19:45 Washington time (0045 GMT Tuesday) could take “several hours”.
However, both Washington and Beijing have stressed that we must not pin our hopes on the immediate results of this summit.
The White House announced that it was not expected that this hypothetical meeting would lead to “tangible results”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian only said the two presidents “will have a frank, thorough and comprehensive exchange of views” on their bilateral relations. in one moment in where the relations between the two powers are crossing a “delicate junction”.
He added that Beijing is willing to work with Washington to “put China-US relations back on track for healthy and stable development.”
Joe Biden has never hidden his desire to meet his Chinese counterpart in person in one moment in which Xi is consolidating his grip on the regime, and recently criticized his absence from several major international meetings.
But he had to settle for a new virtual meeting with Xi, who hasn’t left China for almost two years for health reasons.
If the tone has changed with Biden’s rise to power, compared to actions under Trump, the relationship between Washington and Beijing remains very tense.
The fate of Taiwan in particular is now the main source of tension, with the exchange of warnings on Saturday between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
The United States Secretary of State, in a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, “expressed his concern about the continuing military, diplomatic and economic pressure from the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan,” according to a US State Department statement.
For his part, Wang warned of the danger of US actions that could appear to support the “independence of Taiwan”, the autonomous island, but China considers it an integral part of its territory. in one moment in which China wants to consolidate its regional influence.
And the official Chinese newspaper, “Global Times”, pointed out in its editorial Monday that “to reduce the risks of a strategic confrontation between China and the United States, the latter must back down on the Taiwan issue and show restraint.”
A senior White House official spoke of China’s “provocative behavior” towards Taiwan on a number of controversial issues that Biden wants to address “directly and frankly” with Xi.
At the forefront of these controversial issues, according to the same source, are China’s aggressive economic practices towards the United States and the human rights violations that are occurring. in China.
But Washington points out that the two powers can cooperate in some areas, such as the fight against climate change.
The call for this virtual meeting arrives in one moment in which Xi continues to tighten his grip on the system, as demonstrated on Thursday by the Chinese Communist Party’s adoption of a text praising the president, under the pretext of celebrating the party’s centenary.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said Biden, despite his unpopularity, had arrived. “in a position of strength “during his meeting with Xi because the United States would have increased public investment and had pledged to strengthen its international alliances.
“If Biden and Xi can establish a regular pace of communication through face-to-face meetings when conditions allow, then China and the United States can more easily cope with the ups and downs of their relationship,” Danny Russell, an elder from the ‘Obama was diplomat on Asia, it says in an article for Foreign Affairs “.
The long statement called for the “correct view of the party’s history” to be maintained, noting that the party “was the most wonderful epic in the history of the Chinese nation for thousands of years.”
“The Central Committee called on the entire Party, the entire army and people of all ethnic groups to unite more closely around the Central Committee of the Party with Comrade Xi Jinping within it, in so as to fully implement Xi Jinping’s new era of communism with Chinese characteristics, “he added.
The senior official in the Biden administration felt that this announcement “further consolidated” the concentration of power in the hands of the Chinese president, adding: “We believe this further confirms the need for an exchange at the highest level.”
The United States transferred its official recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but the United States Congress requested the United States to supply Taiwan with weapons that would allow it to defend itself.
The US government is careful not to show Taiwan’s recognition, but the island has broad bipartisan support in Congress and a group of lawmakers visited it this month, angering Beijing.
China has stepped up its military activities near Taiwan in recent years, with a number record of aircraft that breached the “Ediz Air Defense Identification Zone” (ADIZ) on the island in early October.
Washington has repeatedly indicated its support for Taiwan in the face of what it classifies as “Chinese aggression”.
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