Friday, December 3

Biden and Xi Jinping spoke for three and a half hours on Taiwan, international trade and human rights

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, held a virtual meeting on Monday night that lasted about three and a half hours, more than the beginning of the delegations, according to the White House. In it, the Chinese president called on his counterpart to show “leadership” and implement “rational and pragmatic” policies towards China.

Despite the long duration of the meeting, a senior White House official told reporters in a telephone press conference that there has been no notable progress or agreement: “We were not expecting a breakthrough. There was none. Nothing to report.” .

At the meeting, the first beyond phone calls since Biden came to power in January, the two leaders spoke in a “respectful and direct” manner, according to the version released by Washington. The lengthy three-and-a-half-hour meeting that began in Washington just before 8:00 p.m. local time was divided into two sessions, with a break in between.

They spoke that the competition between both countries “does not turn into conflict”

Biden and Xi addressed a range of issues, including Taiwan extensively, but the “responsible management of competition” between the two countries is the main issue on the table. In the case of Taiwan, an island on which China claims its sovereignty, Biden told Xi that the United States opposes there being “unilateral changes in the status quo” and reiterated Washington’s commitment to the policy of “only one China “which recognizes only Beijing as a state. Xi said Beijing will be forced to “take decisive action if Taiwanese secessionist forces cross red lines,” referring to a possible declaration of independence from Taipei.

In economic terms, they talked about energy supply, the climate crisis, China’s “unfair” trade practices under Washington’s point of view and about making sure that competition between the two countries “does not turn into conflict.”

The American leader also put human rights on the table at various times during the meeting and, according to the official, “he was quite clear and quite sincere with the variety of concerns” in this regard. In a later statement, the White House detailed that Biden spoke of Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang.

They also talked about Iran, a subject of friction between the two countries over the purchase of Iranian crude by Beijing, although according to the White House the leaders focused on exchanging opinions in the face of nuclear negotiations. They also spoke about the Indo-Pacific region, on which the two countries have their sights set, and Biden conveyed to Xi his intention to keep it “open and free,” according to the US version.

At the meeting, Xi affirmed that mutual respect, cooperation and peaceful coexistence should be the three basic principles guiding relations between the two powers, the state news agency Xinhua reported.

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