Biden raises Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong; Xi establishes Taiwan’s ‘red line’

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke about China’s practices in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, among other areas of friction, the White House said in a statement, after the two had more than three hours of virtual conversations.

“President Biden expressed concern about the practices of the People’s Republic of China in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as human rights in general,” the White House said.

He also told Xi that the United States remains committed to the “one China” policy related to Taiwan, the White House said, and the two pledged to work together on energy and climate issues.

Xi, in turn, told Biden that his country would have to take “decisive action” if “Taiwan’s pro-independence” forces crossed a “red line,” Chinese state media said.

China claims autonomous Taiwan is its own. Beijing has promised to bring the island under Chinese control, by force if necessary.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a meeting to mark the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing earlier this month. (credit: CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS / REUTERS)

The two leaders emphasized their responsibility to the world to avoid conflict.

“It seems to me that our responsibility as leaders of China and the United States is to ensure that our competition between our countries does not drift into conflict, whether intentional or not,” Biden said at the beginning of the talks.

“Simple and direct competition”.

Speaking through an interpreter, Xi said, “As the world’s two largest economies and the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation.”

The official Xinhua news agency described the meeting as “frank, constructive, substantive and fruitful.”

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