The digital summit of Joe Biden and Xi Jinping is underway, with the US president pointing out that there is a need for guarantees that the competition between the two largest economies in the world will not be diverted to a “conflict” and his Chinese counterpart to in better “communication” of the two sides.
Joe Biden insisted that “the rivalry between the two countries should not be transformed into a conflict, intentional or not” and that the two leaders have a duty to guarantee it. “China and the United States need to improve their communication and cooperation,” Xi said, calling for “peaceful coexistence.”
The two leaders initially exchanged warm words, with the Chinese leader saying he was happy to see the US president again, whom he described as an old friend, and the White House resident expressing his hope that next time the two leaders would say face to face. “Maybe I should have started more formally, if you and I had never been so formal with each other,” Biden said.
Reiterating his well-known positions, Mr. Xi stressed the need for a healthy and stable relationship between the two countries to meet global challenges, such as the climate crisis and the new coronavirus pandemic, while expressing his hope that the two leaders will be able to work together to steer the bilateral relationship in a positive direction. “I am ready to work with you,” he assured.
The leaders’ discussion, which began at 19:45 Washington time (02:45 Greek time) and is expected to last “a few hours”, as estimated earlier yesterday by the representative of the American presidency, Jen Psaki, is recorded against the background of the continuing escalation of tensions between Washington and Beijing on a range of issues, from Taiwan and human rights to trade, etc. The tone may have changed compared to the Donald Trump era – but bilateral relations remain tense.