Joe Biden and Xi Jinping meet on sidelines of G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia3 min read
On the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, US President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping exchanged handshakes. This is their first official encounter since Biden assumed office as President of the United States.
On the margins of the G20 Summit, US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met for the first time in person on Monday in Bali. Handshakes were exchanged between Biden and Xi. This is their first official encounter since Biden assumed office as President of the United States.
“We spent a lot of time together back when we were both vice presidents, and it’s just lovely to see you,” Biden said as he wrapped his arm around Xi, adding in remarks to reporters that he was committed to maintaining channels of communication open on a personal and government level.
“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 … turning into conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation,” the US President said.
The United States’ tight ties with Taiwan has irked China. Beijing fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island in August. Russia has also put the country in an extremely tough situation with Ukraine.
“I’m committed to keeping the lines of communication open between you and me personally, but also our governments across the board,” Biden told Xi on Monday, emphasising that both countries must “manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything close to conflict, and find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation.”
The discussion in Bali was expected to be lengthy. Biden set aside up to four hours for the conversation before a scheduled news conference.
Officials in the United States predicted a business-like atmosphere for the summit, which was confined to the two presidents and their closest advisers.
The encounter with China, which Biden’s government regards as the United States’ biggest economic foe, is viewed as an opening conversation between the leaders. The goal on the US side was that in a face-to-face talk, the leaders would be able to define guardrails for the relationship that they had not been able to do over the phone, particularly with regard to Taiwan.
The United States has traditionally maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity over how it would respond to an attack on the territory, but Biden has frequently stated that the United States would come to Taiwan’s assistance if the territory were attacked.
According to Barry Pavel, a former National Security Council defence policy aide to former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Biden should “make it very clear that the United States and Taiwan and other democratic partners are increasingly close, and it would be extremely unwise and damaging for China if it were to undertake an invasion or otherwise coerce Taiwan.”
“Whatever happens in a private meeting may have a greater impact than what happens in front of a microphone,” said Pavel, a vice president at the nonprofit RAND Corporation and director of its National Security Research Division.researcheditorial
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