Biden, Xi met for hours and agreed to ‘pick up the phone’ for any urgent concerns: ‘That’s progress’

by Ryan Lee
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Biden-Xi Summit

In a significant meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the leaders committed to a more stable relationship, signaling modest progress on issues such as illegal fentanyl control and re-establishing military communications. However, they acknowledged persistent differences in areas of economic competition and global security.

Biden highlighted a key outcome of their discussions: the agreement for direct communication in urgent situations, terming it a notable advancement. The meeting, held in a scenic estate in Northern California, spanned four hours and included a working lunch and a stroll, emphasizing their intent to cooperate despite being global economic rivals.

Xi, addressing Biden, asserted that both the U.S. and China could prosper in a world big enough for both nations. The meeting also covered important topics like China’s military activities around Taiwan and the U.S.’s commitment to Taiwan’s defense, as well as urging China to refrain from interfering in Taiwan’s upcoming elections. Biden also encouraged Xi to influence Iran in de-escalating tensions in the Middle East.

The talks, coinciding with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, were crucial given the global context of economic challenges and geopolitical tensions. Agreements were reached on tackling the fentanyl crisis and restoring military dialogues, with Biden emphasizing the importance of trust in these agreements.

Biden and Xi had a frank exchange over Taiwan, with Biden expressing concerns over China’s military buildup and Xi assuring no invasion plans. Biden also called on Xi to influence Iran regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, with China having communicated U.S. concerns to Iran.

Xi focused on Taiwan, U.S. sanctions, and restrictions on Chinese products, urging the U.S. to support China’s goals and remove sanctions affecting Chinese businesses. He also emphasized cooperation in areas like artificial intelligence and climate change, while seeking fair treatment for Chinese businesses.

The meeting showcased the leaders’ acknowledgment of their critical relationship and the necessity for better coordination. They aimed to rebuild a stable baseline in their relations, marred by recent tensions over issues like Taiwan and cybersecurity.

The setting of the meeting at the Filoli Estate, south of San Francisco, was carefully arranged, featuring a working lunch and a garden stroll. The leaders also shared personal moments, with Biden conveying birthday wishes to Xi’s wife.

Despite challenges, Xi stressed the importance of continuous forward movement in U.S.-China relations, cautioning against any attempts at remodeling each other’s systems and highlighting the dire consequences of conflict.

Business leaders, represented by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Robert Moritz, expressed hope for increased cooperation and commitment to free trade post-meeting. The events also saw protests in San Francisco, with demonstrators calling for a firm U.S. stance against China’s human rights issues.

Xi’s subsequent engagement with U.S. business executives at a dinner provided a rare opportunity for direct dialogue with the Chinese leader. The meeting overall highlighted significant discussions on key global and bilateral issues, with both leaders striving for a responsible management of their competition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden-Xi Summit

What was the outcome of the recent meeting between President Biden and President Xi?

President Biden and President Xi Jinping agreed to improve U.S.-China relations, focusing on issues like illegal fentanyl control and re-establishing military communications. They acknowledged ongoing differences in economic competition and global security, emphasizing direct communication for urgent concerns as a significant advancement.

How long did the Biden-Xi meeting last and where was it held?

The meeting between President Biden and President Xi lasted for four hours and was held at a picturesque estate in Northern California. It included a working lunch, a garden stroll, and discussions on various global and bilateral issues.

What were the key topics discussed in the Biden-Xi meeting?

Key topics included China’s military activities around Taiwan, the U.S.’s commitment to Taiwan’s defense, global economic challenges, and geopolitical tensions. They also reached agreements on the fentanyl crisis and restoring military dialogues.

What stance did President Xi take on Taiwan during the meeting?

President Xi Jinping assured President Biden that China had no plans to invade Taiwan. He also urged the U.S. to support China’s goals regarding Taiwan, describing it as a critical and sensitive issue in U.S.-China relations.

Did the Biden-Xi meeting address any economic concerns?

Yes, the meeting addressed economic concerns, including U.S. sanctions and restrictions on Chinese products. Xi Jinping called for the removal of these sanctions and sought a fair environment for Chinese businesses. Discussions also touched on cooperation in artificial intelligence and climate change.

Were there any personal moments shared between the two leaders?

Yes, there were personal moments. For instance, President Biden conveyed early birthday wishes to President Xi’s wife. The leaders also shared a stroll in the garden of the estate where the meeting was held.

How did business leaders react to the Biden-Xi meeting?

Business leaders, represented by figures like Robert Moritz of PricewaterhouseCoopers, expressed hope for increased cooperation and commitment to free trade following the meeting. There was a general anticipation for a de-escalation in tensions and more effective execution of cooperative agreements.

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