President BidenJoe Biden US Bishops To Consider Whether Biden Should Receive Communion Barrels Of Congress Towards Year-End Clash Biden Turns On Former New Orleans Mayor Landrieu To Lead Infrastructure MORE he met virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday night for what he described as a “frank and frank discussion” on how to handle competition between the two countries.
“As I have said before, it seems to be our responsibility, as leaders of China and the United States, to ensure that competition between our countries does not escalate into conflict, whether intentional or not. Just direct competition, ”Biden said opening the meeting.
“It seems to me that we need to establish a common sense safety fence, be clear and honest when we disagree, and work together where our interests intersect, especially on vital global issues like climate change,” the president said.
Biden stressed the need for all countries to “follow the same rules of the road.” He indicated that he would raise issues on which US officials have “concerns,” including human rights and Indo-Pacific economic and security issues.
Speaking through a translator, Xi said he was “very happy to see my old friend” and emphasized that “China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation.”
secretary of the treasury Janet yellenJanet Louise YellenInflation Increases Focus On Biden’s Fed’s Choice Sunday Programs: Biden Officials Create Inflation Message Yellen Says COVID-19 Pandemic ‘Responsible’ For Inflation Rises MORE, Secretary of state Antony blinkAntony BlinkenBlinken calls on Cuba to respect rights ahead of planned protests Blinken expresses concern about pressure on Taiwan in a call with his Chinese counterpart. Is Russia about to make a “serious mistake” in Ukraine? PLUS, White House National Security Advisor Jake sullivanJake Sullivan: Is Russia about to make a ‘serious mistake’ in Ukraine? Human rights must not be forgotten amid China’s empty promises on climate change that Biden and Xi will hold a high-stakes virtual meeting on Monday MORE, and other senior officials from the Biden administration were present at the meeting, which took place in the Roosevelt Room via video conference. Two television screens were installed in the room showing Xi. Several Chinese government officials also joined the video call.
The meeting, which was expected to last several hours, accentuates the high tensions between the United States and China over economic and security issues. Entering the meeting, Biden was expected to express concern about China’s unfair economic practices, aggressive military activity near Taiwan, and human rights abuses. US tariffs on Chinese goods and supply chain issues were not expected to be the main talking points.
Biden and Xi have a history with each other, having spent hours together when they were both vice presidents. White House officials insisted the relationship gave Biden a head start before the meeting.
“The president feels that he can have frank conversations with President Xi, someone … with whom he can directly raise the areas that concern us, whether they are security, economic or human rights issues,” the White House said. Press secretary Jen psakiJen PsakiWhite House tries to change messages on the economy States get ahead of the feds on boosters At the White House, frustration over who can ask questions MORE he told reporters during a briefing on Monday afternoon.
The closely monitored meeting will be a test of Biden’s approach to China. Biden has made countering China’s influence and overtaking Beijing on the world stage a central argument for his economic and foreign policy agendas. At the same time, the Biden administration wants to work with China to curb global warming and address global health.
Officials lowered expectations for specific deliverables ahead of the meeting, saying Biden’s intention was to deepen communication with China to ensure that competition between the two countries does not escalate into conflict.
Tensions have flared between the two countries recently when China stepped up military flights into Taiwan’s airspace. Last month, Biden vowed to defend Taiwan in the event of an attack from China.