American President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in person for about three hours Monday in Bali, Indonesia. The two leaders said they would try to improve the country’s relations amid rising economic and security tensions.
Biden told Xi that the two of them share responsibility, “to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict.”
In answer, Xi said, "The world expects that China and the United States will properly handle the relationship.” The Chinese president also said that he looked forward to working with Biden to improve the relationship.
The question of Taiwan
However, the White House said in a statement called readout of the meeting that Biden brought up several difficult subjects. They included U.S. objections to what were described as China’s "coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan.” The president expressed similar criticism of China’s record “in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly.”
China released its own account of the meeting calling it “candid and constructive.” It said Xi made clear “that the Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests… and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations.”
Xi defended “Chinese-style democracy” adding that “China does not seek to change the existing international order or interfere” in the United States.
After the meeting, Biden spoke to reporters. He said the U.S. remains firm about its longstanding “One China” policy. He also said he does not believe “there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.”
Biden said that the U.S. would “compete vigorously” but he added, “I absolutely believe there need not be a new Cold War” with China.
Xi did not meet with foreign reporters after the meeting.
Economy and security
The American president also raised concerns about China’s “non-market economic practices.” He said they “harm American workers and families, and workers and families around the world.”
Xi answered by accusing the U.S. of “starting a trade war or a technology war.” He added, “We oppose politicizing and weaponizing economic and trade ties as well as exchanges in science and technology.”
The U.S. said Biden and Xi agreed that “a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won.” The men were discussing Russia’s threats against Ukraine at the time.
China said Xi “is highly concerned about the current situation in Ukraine.” The Chinese leader supported a return to “peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.” And he hoped that the U.S., its NATO allies and the European Union would hold talks with Russia.
Both sides agreed that the two countries must work together to deal with international issues including climate change, health, economic stability and food shortage.
Xi and Biden met in Indonesia where they are attending a meeting of the Group of 20 large economies.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov represented President Vladimir Putin who did not attend the meeting. The gathering is the first since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
The new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called out Putin for staying away. He wrote in The Telegraph newspapers: “The man who is responsible for so much bloodshed in Ukraine and economic strife around the world will not be there….” Putin, he wrote, “won’t even attempt to explain his actions.”
Before meeting with Xi, Biden also held talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who chaired this year’s meeting. Biden announced several new projects to help the nation, including investments in climate, security, and education.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English with additional reporting from The Associated Press and Reuters.
Words in This Story
manage - v. to control the actions
properly - adv. in a way that is acceptable
handle - v. to deal with, to manage, to control the actions
candid - adj. expressing opinions and feelings in an honest and sincere way
constructive - adj. helpful
imminent - adj. happening very soon
vigorously - adv. done with great force and energy
absolutely - adv. completely or totally
strife - n. very angry or violent disagreement