Disputes between Washington and Beijing serve neither country, China’s leader told his American counterpart
Chinese President Xi Jinping urged for continued cooperation with the United States during his first in-person meeting with President Joe Biden on Monday, but insisted Washington’s attempts to suppress or contain China would backfire.
A readout issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry detailed President Xi’s sit-down with Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, saying the talks were “in-depth, candid and constructive.” The statement noted that while China and the US share many common interests, tensions between the two powers risk a “collision.”
“The current state of China-US relations is not in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and is not what the international community expects,” Xi told Biden, as cited by the Foreign Ministry. He called for the countries to “put the relationship on the right course, and bring it back to the track of healthy and stable growth to the benefit of the two countries and the world as a whole.”
Xi argued that while China and the US have taken “different paths” with their political and economic systems, “it is vital to recognize and respect such difference” and peacefully coexist. Relations must not be defined by “confrontation and zero-sum competition,” but rather “dialogue and win-win cooperation.”
“Neither side should try to remold the other in one’s own image, or seek to change or even subvert the other’s system,” he continued, adding: “The Chinese nation has the proud tradition of standing up for itself. Suppression and containment will only strengthen the will and boost the morale of the Chinese people.”
The two leaders also discussed Taiwan – a contentious issue following a high-profile visit to the island during the summer by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which prompted vocal condemnation from Beijing and days of unprecedented Chinese military drills in the air and sea around Taiwan.
Xi stressed that Taiwan is a “core” Chinese interest, as Beijing views the island as part of its sovereign territory, calling it “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.”
Beijing seeks to eventually “realize national reunification” with Taipei, Xi continued, stressing that any efforts to “split Taiwan from China will be violating the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation.”
Peace and stability in the region and “Taiwan independence” are “as irreconcilable as water and fire,” China’s leader said, noting that Biden has previously pledged not to “use Taiwan as a tool to seek advantages in competition with China or to contain China.”
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