Biden Meets Xi for the 1st Time in Person Since Taking Office

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke positively about bilateral ties on Nov. 14 during their long-awaited, in-person meeting since Biden took office in 2021.

The meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, came amid deteriorated Sino-U.S. relations over a series of issues, including the Chinese regime’s rampant technology theft, human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and its aggression against Taiwan.

“We spent a lot of time together and back in the days when we were both vice presidents, and it’s just great to see you,” Biden told Xi during the press conference ahead of the bilateral meeting.

“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.”

Climate change and food insecurity are among the key issues Biden mentioned to be discussed.

In response, Xi said the current “China-U.S. relationship is in a situation that we all care a lot about it.”

“As leaders of the two major countries, we need to chart the right course for the U.S.-China relationship. We need to find the right direction for the bilateral relationship going forward and elevate the relationship,” Xi told Biden.

“Our meeting has attracted the world’s attention.”

Xi said they need to have “candid and in-depth” exchanges on a range of issues with strategic importance.

The meeting came as Biden’s Democratic Party did better than expected in the midterm elections. On Nov. 13, the president said that the fact that his party has control of the Senate in the next Congress gave him a “stronger hand” while meeting Xi, though he added, “I don’t need that.”

Xi has seized more political clout within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) than his predecessors. Last month, he secured a record-breaking third term in office and installed allies in the Party’s top decision-making body during the 20th National Congress.

The two leaders are now in a meeting that White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has said could last more than two hours.

NTD Photo
U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (R) meet on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Nov. 14, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan

The future of Taiwan is expected to be the focus of Monday’s meeting, while Ukraine and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are also among the main issues of discussion.

During their last phone conversation in July, Xi warned Biden against playing fire with Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing views as its own territory. “Playing with fire will set you on fire,” Xi told Biden then.

Taiwan has endured escalated military, political, and economic pressure from Beijing this year. Following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit in August, Beijing launched live fire drills and 11 ballistic missiles into the waters around Taiwan.

The CCP also continues to send warplanes flying near the island on a regular basis. On Nov. 12, Taiwan’s defense military reported that 36 Chinese military aircraft and three vessels were seen in its surrounding region.

Xi made clear the Party’s determination to quash Taiwan’s independence during a twice-a-decade political reshuffle. “We will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary,” Xi said on Oct. 16.

While Biden said Washington is not seeking conflict with Beijing, analysts have warned that Xi’s consolidation of power will inevitably intensify competition between the two nations, increasing the risk of a cold war.

Xi’s ‘Sole Interest Is Global Domination’

Ahead of the meeting, the White House has said Monday’s closely-watched talks are unlikely to produce a joint statement. American lawmakers also warned the Chinese regime has no interest in cooperating with the United States.

“President Xi has no interest in partnering with the United States,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said on Nov. 13.

“His [Xi’s] sole interest is global domination, and he will readily take advantage of the Biden administration’s weak foreign policy to inch closer to that goal,” Blackburn said in an email to The Epoch Times.

“This meeting is an opportunity for President Biden to decisively communicate where our nation stands—with Taiwan and our freedom-loving partners around the globe and against the egregious human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist regime,” she wrote.

“If Biden is serious about standing up to the CCP, he will not agree to anything that would give them more leverage against us. The United States of America will not be bullied into abandoning our core principles. It’s time we instead focus on strengthening our military and relationships with countries who share our values of freedom and democracy.”

Cathy He and Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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