President Joe Biden met with Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping on Nov. 14 for the duo’s first face-to-face meeting of the Biden presidency. The two discussed the future of Taiwan, human rights in China, and global competition but appeared to reach no new ground on any of the issues in a meeting marred by Chinese communist violence.
“We had an open and candid conversation about our intentions and our priorities,” Biden said after the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
“He was clear, and I was clear that we’ll defend American interests and values, promote universal human rights, and stand up for the international order working in lockstep with our allies and partners.”
Biden told Xi that the United States would continue to “compete vigorously” with China by investing in domestic manufacturing and allies, according to a statement issued by the White House.
Biden also explained to Xi that China and the United States would need to cooperate on transnational challenges, including climate change, economic instability, and health and food security.
White House Journalist Assaulted
Despite Biden’s words, however, the authoritarian repression so emblematic of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strategic doctrine was on display.
Moments before Biden and Xi were set to hold their discussion, a White House TV producer shouted a question to Biden asking if the president would raise concerns about China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang and elsewhere. Chinese staff immediately grabbed the journalist and shoved her toward the exits in an attempt to forcibly remove her from the room. White House aides were forced to physically intervene and said the woman should be allowed to stay.
AFP White House reporter Sebastian Smith filed a travel report detailing the issue.
“Right at the end as we were being ushered out, the pool TV producer called out to President Biden, asking whether he would raise human rights during the talks,” Smith wrote. “Instantly, a man from the Chinese side (he was wearing a white Covid mask with a Chinese flag on it) yanked the producer backwards by the backpack. She lost balance without falling and was pushed toward the door. Two White House staff members intervened saying the producer should be left alone.”
The incident is just the latest in a growing line of physically aggressive behavior by the CCP’s diplomatic staff. In October, leaders of the Chinese Embassy in Manchester, England, including Consul General Zheng Xiyuan, grabbed a Hong Kong rights protester from the sidewalk, dragged him onto the consular grounds, beat him, and pulled his hair out.
Diverging Talking Points on Human Rights and Taiwan
After the meeting, Biden responded to a question about Xi’s increasing reliance on such authoritarian tactics. Biden said that Xi was the same as he had always been.
“I didn’t find him more confrontational or more conciliatory,” Biden said of Xi. “I found him the way he’s always been, direct and straightforward.
“We were very blunt with one another about places where we disagreed or where we were uncertain of each other’s position.”
Notably, the White House said that Biden raised concerns about the CCP’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, though the CCP’s readout of the meeting did not mention any discussion of human rights.
Likewise, there was apparent disagreement on the issue of Taiwan, which the CCP claims is a rogue province of China that must be united with the mainland.
Biden said that the United States is committed to maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations and that neither Washington nor Beijing should attempt to unilaterally change the status quo regarding Taiwan.
Far from promoting peace and stability, the CCP’s readout of the meeting said there could be no peace with an independent Taiwan.
“Cross-Strait peace and stability and ‘Taiwan independence’ are as irreconcilable as water and fire,” the readout said.
From The Epoch Times