During his meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on November 14, US President Joe Biden criticized China’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions” toward Taiwan. According to a White House press release, Joe Biden also raised human rights concerns.
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Notably, it was their first face-to-face meeting since the US president took office. Biden and Xi met on November 14 at a posh resort hotel in Bali, Indonesia, where they are both attending the G20 summit.
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The lengthy, over three-hour meeting was seen as an effort to ease trade and Taiwan-related tensions that have caused US-China relations to deteriorate to their lowest point in decades. The US will “continue to compete vigorously” with China, according to the White House, but “competition should not veer into conflict,” the statement read.
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Biden and Jinping discussed nuclear threats amid Ukraine war
The leaders emphasized their opposition to the use or threat of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine and concurred that “a nuclear war should never be fought” and cannot be won. On potential areas of cooperation, such as addressing the climate crisis and preserving global economy, health, and food stability, they stated that they would “empower key senior officials.”
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It was not immediately clear whether this meant China would agree to resume climate change negotiations that had been put on hold in protest of Nancy Pelosi’s contentious visit to Taiwan in August. According to China’s official summary, the discussions were “thoroughgoing, frank, and constructive,” and officials from both governments agreed to build on points of agreement and push for the restoration of China-US relations to a “stable track of development.”
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“As the 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 anything ever near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation,” the US President said before the start of the meeting.
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Xi said he was prepared for a “candid and in-depth exchange of views,” and urged the US president to “chart the right course” and “elevate the relationship” between China and the US. However, during the meeting, Biden raised a number of sensitive issues, including his disapproval of China’s aggression towards Taiwan, its “non-market economic practices,” and its human rights record in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.