Xi greeted Biden as “old friend” at the beginning of the meeting on Tuesday morning (China time), spoke about Beijing and Washington’s responsibility in responding to challenges like climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic but also warned the US against pushing for the independence of the self-ruled democracy, Taiwan, which China claims as its own.
‘PLAYING WITH FIRE’
Xi described the intention of some people in the US to “use Taiwan to control China” as a dangerous trend. “It is playing with fire, and those who play with fire get burned,” Xi said.
“Complete reunification of China is the common aspiration of all sons and daughters of the Chinese nation,” Xi told Biden. “We are patient and willing to do our utmost to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity,” Xi was quoted as saying by official Chinese media.
Xi said China will be compelled to take resolute measures, should the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence’, “…provoke us, force our hands or even cross the red line”.
On Taiwan, Chinese official media quoted Biden as saying that the US government does not support “Taiwan independence” forces.
Biden told Xi that they “need to rebuild the guardrail of consensus, be clear and honest about our differences, and work together on areas of mutual interest, especially on major global issues like climate change”.
PRINCIPLE OF MUTUAL BENEFIT
Chinese state media quoted Xi as saying that China and the US are “…two huge ships sailing in the middle of the ocean. We should keep the rudders steady so that the two giant ships can move forward together in the face of wind and waves without drifting, stalling or colliding”.
We should adhere to the principle of mutual benefit and not play a zero-sum game,” Xi said.
Xi had met for a “…thorough and in-depth communication and exchanges with US President Joe Biden in a rare long virtual meeting on Tuesday morning during which they discussed strategic and fundamental issues on the development of bilateral relations”, the Global Times said in a report on Tuesday.
Chinese observers said “…the meeting will inject certainty into the bilateral ties and is sending a signal that the two countries will cooperate in many areas” despite not being able to avoid “fierce competition” in other areas.
The first face-to-face virtual meeting between the top two leaders lasted three hours and 24 minutes.
A video released by China’s national broadcaster, CCTV showed Xi saying he was very happy to see his “old friend” and that it was crucial for China and the US to work together in addressing common challenges.
China and the US should respect each other, coexist in peace, and pursue win-win cooperation, Xi told Biden, adding that the two countries need to cooperate to respond to global challenges like climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Xi expressed his readiness to work with President Biden to build consensus and take active steps to move China-US relations forward in a positive direction,” a statement issued by the Xinhua news agency, quoted Xi as saying.
“Advancing global peace and development is the “…joint mission of Chinese and American leaders”, Xi said.
Xi pointed out that both China and the US are at critical stages of development, and the “global village” of humanity faces multiple challenges.
The Chinese President spoke about the need to “increase” communication between the two countries.
As the world’s two largest economies and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the US need to increase communication and cooperation, each run their domestic affairs well and, at the same time, shoulder their share of international responsibilities, and work together to advance the noble cause of world peace and development,” Xi told Biden.
“This is the shared desire of the people of the two countries and around the world, and the joint mission of Chinese and American leaders,” Xi said.
Xi expressed his readiness to work with Biden to build consensus and take active steps to move China-US relations forward in a positive direction.
“Doing so will advance the interests of the two peoples and meet the expectation of the international community,” Xi said.
On the issue of human rights, Xi said China is willing to conduct dialogue on human rights issues on the basis of mutual respect but is not in favour of using human rights to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
Xi, according to official media, said the people can judge if a nation is democratic or not, and it’s undemocratic in itself to exclude others only because of their different forms of achieving democracy.
Xi was accompanied by some of China’s top politicians and diplomats, according to Chinese state media.
Ding Xuexiang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese vice-premier Liu He, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi as well as vice foreign minister Xie Feng were among the attendees to the meeting, according to photo of the video meeting released by Xinhua.