BIDEN AND XI AGREE ON RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT AMIDST DIFFERENCES

The virtual summit between United States President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping took place on Tuesday with the two leaders agreeing on the need to manage the competition between the two, ‘responsibly’. The meeting however did not lead to any congruent breakthrough. The virtual summit went on for three hours. 

On the previous day a senior official in the US Administration had said talks should be focused on ‘guardrails’ rather than specificities. The two leaders described each other as old friends, as they both knew each other in their previous positions in the respective governments. The US President stressed for ‘common sense guardrails to ensure that competition does not veer to conflict’, but the press release did not mention this in detail. Chinese President Xi Jinping called for ‘mutual respect and peaceful coexistence’ and a  ‘win-win cooperation’. The Chinese foreign ministry said that Xi said that the two countries should treat each other as equals and no conflict or confrontation is something both sides should hold. The Chinese ministry stressed on the US’s stand to not seek a ‘new cold war’. 

“China will certainly defend its sovereignty, security and development interests”, said Xi. the elephant in the room was Taiwan; Mr. Biden said the U.S. “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”. The white house also said he ‘discussed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and communicated the continued determination of the United States to uphold our commitments in the region”. The US highlighted the importance of “freedom of navigation and safe overflight to the region’s prosperity.”

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