President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden on Monday met in Bali, Indonesia, ahead of the G20 summit for long-awaited talks that come as relations between the two countries are at their lowest in decades, marred by disagreements over a host of issues from Taiwan to trade.
The meeting between the two geopolitical heavyweights came on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Indonesia. This is also their first meeting since Joe Biden became the President of the United States.
During the meeting, President Xi pointed out that the current situation facing China-US relations do not conform to the interests of the two countries and the two peoples, nor does it meet the expectations of the international community.
Xi also introduced the important achievements of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and pointed out that the internal and external policies of the Chinese Communist Party and the government are open and transparent, their strategic intentions are clear, and they maintain a high degree of continuity and stability.
“China continues to firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, always decides its position and attitude based on the merits of the matter itself,” Xi said.
He added that China will adhere to peaceful development, open development of global development, and work with other countries to achieve common development.
President Xi also emphasized that China and the US are two major countries with different histories, cultures, social systems and development paths.
“There were differences and differences in the past and present, and there will be in the future, but this should not become an obstacle to the development of China-US relations,” he said.
During the meeting, President Biden congratulated Xi on his re-election as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
“It is just great to see you,” Biden said to Xi, adding that he was committed to keeping lines of communication open on a personal and government level.
On the matter of Taiwan, Xi called Taiwan the “first red line” warning that the red line must not be crossed in US-China relations. Biden assures Xi that US policy on Taiwan has not changed. He added that he sought to lower tensions over the self-ruled island. “I do not think there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan,” he told reporters.
During the meeting, the two leaders of state agreed that the diplomatic teams of the two sides will maintain strategic communication and conduct regular consultations. The two sides also agreed to carry out dialogue and cooperation on public health, agriculture and food security between the two countries.
On the matter of Ukraine, President Xi pointed out that China is highly concerned about the current situation in Ukraine.
“China has always stood on the side of peace, and will continue to promote peace talks, support and look forward to the resumption of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and hope that the United States, NATO, and the European Union will conduct comprehensive dialogues with Russia,” he said.
What is G20?
The G20, or Group of Twenty, is a club of countries whose leaders get together to discuss plans for the global economy. Increasingly, they also touch on other important topics like climate change.
Between them, G20 countries account for 85% of the world’s economic output and 75% of world trade. They also contain two-thirds of the global population.
The members are the European Union and 19 nations – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US. Spain is always invited as a guest.
The summit is also an opportunity for national leaders to meet on the sidelines for one-to-one discussions, in the manner US President Biden and President Xi of China met this time.