President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met on November 14 with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in Bali, Indonesia. The two leaders spoke candidly about their respective priorities and intentions across a range of issues. President Biden explained that the United States will continue to compete vigorously with the PRC, including by investing in sources of strength at home and aligning efforts with allies and partners around the world. He reiterated that this competition should not veer into conflict and underscored that the United States and China must manage the competition responsibly and maintain open lines of communication.
The two leaders discussed the importance of developing principles that would advance these goals and tasked their teams to discuss them further.
President Biden underscored that the United States and China must work together to address transnational challenges – such as climate change, global macroeconomic stability including debt relief, health security, and global food security – because that is what the international community expects.
The two leaders agreed to empower key senior officials to maintain communication and deepen constructive efforts on these and other issues. They welcomed ongoing efforts to address specific issues in U.S.-China bilateral relations, and encouraged further progress in these existing mechanisms, including through joint working groups.
They also noted the importance of ties between the people of the United States and the PRC.
President Biden raised concerns about PRC practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly. On Taiwan, he laid out in detail that our one China policy has not changed, the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and the world has an interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
He raised U.S. objections to the PRC’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan, which undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region, and jeopardize global prosperity. President Biden also raised ongoing concerns about China’s non-market economic practices, which harm American workers and families, and workers and families around the world. He again underscored that it is a priority for us to resolve the cases of American citizens who are wrongfully detained or subject to exit bans in China
The two leaders exchanged views on key regional and global challenges. President Biden raised Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and Russia’s irresponsible threats of nuclear use. President Biden and President Xi reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won and underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. President Biden also raised concerns about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s provocative behavior, noted all members of the international community have an interest in encouraging the DPRK to act responsibly, and underscored the United States’ ironclad commitment to defending our Indo-Pacific Allies. The two leaders agreed that Secretary of State Blinken will visit China to follow up on their discussions
Remarks by President Biden and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China Before Bilateral Meeting
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, President Xi, it’s — I’m really glad to be able to see you again in person. 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.
And you and I have had a number of candid and useful conversations over the years and since I became President as well. You were kind enough to call me to congratulate me, and I congratulate you as well. And I believe there’s little substitute, though, for — to face-to-face discussions.
And as you know, I’m committed to keeping the lines of communications open between you and me personally but our governments across the board, because our two countries are — have so much that we have an opportunity to deal with.
As the leaders of our two nations, we share a responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation.
And I believe this is critical for the sake of our two countries and the international community. This — this was a key to the theme of the COP27 meeting, where I spoke on Friday. And we’ll be discussing a lot of these challenges together, I hope, in the next couple hours.
And the world expects, I believe, China and the United States to play key roles in addressing global challenges, from climate changes, to food insecurity, and to — for us to be able to work together.
The United States stands ready to do just that — work with you — if that’s what you desire. So, President Xi, I look forward to our continuing and ongoing open and honest dialogue we’ve always had. And I thank you for the opportunity.
PRESIDENT XI: (As interpreted.) Mr. President, it’s good to see you. The last time we met was in 2017, during the World Economic Forum in Davos. That was already more than five years ago.
Since you assumed the presidency, we have maintained communication via video conferences, phone calls, and letters. But none of them can really substitute for face-to-face exchanges. And today, we finally have this face-to-face meeting.
From the initial contact and the establishment of diplomatic relations to today, China and the United States have gone through 50-plus eventful years. We have gained experience, and we’ve also learned lessons. History is the best textbook, so we should take history as a mirror and let it guide the future.
Currently, the China-U.S. relationship is in such a situation that we all care a lot about it, because this is not the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples and it is not what the international community expects us.
As leaders of the two major countries, we need to chart the right course for the China-U.S. relationship. We need to find the right direction for the bilateral relationship going forward and elevate the relationship. A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world.
Well, in this time and age, great changes are unfolding in ways like never before. Humanity are confronted with unprecedented challenges. The world has come to a crossroads. Where to go from here — this is a question that is not only on our mind but also on the mind of all countries.
The world expects that China and the United States will properly handle the relationship. And for our meeting, it has attracted the world’s attention. So, we need to work with all countries to bring more hope to world peace, greater confidence in global stability, and stronger impetus to common development.
In our meeting today, I’m ready to have a candid — as we always did — have a candid and in-depth exchange of views with you on issues of strategic importance in China-U.S. relations and on major global and regional issues. I look forward to working with you, Mr. President, to bring China-U.S. relations back to the track of healthy and stable growth to the benefit of our two countries and the world as a whole.
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