Biden told his Chinese counterpart that competition between the two countries should not lead to conflict

The White House said President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke frankly about contentious issues between the two countries, and discussed Russia’s war in Ukraine, and told Xi Jinping that competition between the two countries should not lead to conflict.

President Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The two presidents held their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office nearly two years ago, amid rising economic and security tensions between the two superpowers.

Biden and Xi shook hands at the start of their summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday.

As the Chinese president greeted his American counterpart, Biden smiled and said, “Nice to see you,” kicking off intense talks expected to last two hours. Biden assured Xi that “there is no alternative” to direct talks, expressing his hope to avoid a “conflict” between Washington and Beijing.

For his part, Xi told the US president, “We all care very much” about US-China relations. He added that he was ready for “frank” talks with Biden on strategic issues.

was White House It was announced earlier that the US President wants to reopen a dialogue during his meeting, on Monday, with his Chinese counterpart Xi, who arrived a short time ago in Indonesia to attend.

The White House added that Biden would also seek to establish “guarantees” in the context of the growing tension between Washington and Beijing.

A senior White House official spoke to reporters of an American “determination” to “responsibly strengthen communications”, while at the same time defining “guarantees” and “clear rules” so that “the competition does not turn into a conflict” between the two superpowers.

“We’re in competition,” the White House said. “President Biden understands that, but he wants to make sure that competition has its limits, that we build buffers, that we have clear rules of the road, and that we’re doing all of this to ensure that competition doesn’t turn into conflict.”

A US official told reporters that the US president has the support of his “allies and partners” in this approach. “There is broad support for our determination to build the ground for the relationship to increase communication responsibly,” he added.

For its part, China expressed, on Monday, its hope that the meeting between President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Joe Biden ahead of the G20 summit in Indonesia, relations “back on track.”

Asked by AFP about China’s expectations from the face-to-face talks in Bali, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning told a regular press conference, “We hope the United States will work with China to control differences, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and avoid misunderstandings.” and miscalculation to push US-China relations back on the right track and for healthy and stable development.”

The two leaders have spoken by phone or video five times since Biden took office in 2021, but have known each other since 2017.

In addition to China’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Washington and Beijing are at odds over issues ranging from trade to human rights in China’s Xinjiang region to the status of Taiwan.

The US official noted that “the world expects” the two countries to work together on certain issues and “we, as a responsible country, certainly believe that we should.”

On Sunday, the US President met the leaders of Japan and South Korea to coordinate their response to the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as to obtain input on managing China’s assertive position in the Pacific region, on the eve of an upcoming face-to-face meeting with the Chinese president.

Earlier on Sunday, Biden told Asian leaders that the lines of communication between the United States and China would remain open to prevent conflict, at the conclusion of the first of three summits involving world leaders this week.

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