WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the first time in person on Monday since Biden took office.
- On the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia, the two leaders stressed the need to get the U.S. and China ties back on track.
- Biden said there “need not be a new Cold War” between the two countries.
President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met together Monday for the first time in person since Biden took office. The two leaders spoke for three hours on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia.
Biden raised concerns about Beijing’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan,” among other areas of tension, the White House says.
Xi’s visit to Indonesia is his first foreign trip in three years. In a readout of the meeting, the White House said Biden expressed “concerns about PRC practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly.”
“On Taiwan, he laid out in detail that our one China policy has not changed, the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and the world has an interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the White House said.
Biden “again underscored that it is a priority for us to resolve the cases of American citizens who are wrongfully detained or subject to exit bans in China,” it added.
Biden also brought up the topic of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the White House.
“President Biden raised Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and Russia’s irresponsible threats of a nuclear use,” it said. The two leaders agreed that “nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won.”
Biden, speaking to Xi Monday on camera, said the world expects China and the U.S. to play a key role in tackling challenges such as climate change and food insecurity.
“As leaders of our two nations we share responsibility in my view to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming any bigger than mere conflict and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues require our mutual cooperation,” Biden said.
Xi replied by saying: “History is the best textbook so we should take history as a mirror and let it guide the future.”
“The world has come to a crossroads where to go from here,” he added. “This is a question that is not only on our minds, but also on the mind of all countries. The world expects that China and the United States will properly handle their relationship and for our meeting it has attracted the world’s attention.”
Geopolitical relations between the two superpowers have been strained for years following the COVID-19 pandemic, a trade war and increased pressure from the West placed on Beijing to address gross human rights abuses.
Xi told Biden. “I look forward to working with you Mr. President to bring China-U.S. relations back to the track of healthy and stable growth to the benefit of our two countries and the world as a whole.”