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As US-China negotiations get underway, Xi Jinping refers Biden as “old friend”

Xi Jinping

During a virtual meeting between Washington and Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed his US counterpart, Joe Biden, as an “old friend” and said both countries must improve communication and cooperation to address the various issues they confront. “It’s the first time for us to meet virtually. Although it’s not as good as a face-to-face meeting, I’m very happy to see my old friend,” In his opening speech, Biden appealed for deeper understanding and cooperation between the two countries to avert any conflict, and the Chinese leader stated he began speaking after that.

From 2009 until 2017, Biden served as the US vice president under the Obama administration, and he recalled his connection with Xi. “We spent an awful lot of time talking to each other… Maybe I should start more formally even though you and I have never been that formal with one another,” the US president said. The meeting takes place as tensions between the US and China rise over a variety of topics, including trade, the South China Sea, human rights breaches in Hong Kong, and military aggressiveness against Taiwan. Despite their past criticisms of one another, Biden ended the meeting on a positive tone, saying that their goal is to guarantee that competition between the world’s two greatest economies “does not veer into violence.”

“It seems to me we need to establish some common-sense guardrails. To be clear and honest where we disagree, and work together where interests intersect, especially on vital global issues like climate change,” Biden said as the summit opened. Meanwhile, Xi stressed that sound and steady China-US relations are required for advancing the two countries’ respective development. “As the world’s two largest economies and the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation,” he also said.

Xi Jinping hasn’t left China in nearly two years, and Biden chastised him for missing the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow and the G20 summit in Rome. Since Biden’s inauguration in January, the 68-year-old Chinese president has met three times with the 78-year-old US president. The two presidents have had extensive phone conversations in the past.

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By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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