The contract of the two American presidents joe biden And Chinese Xi Jinping in California Yesterday, Wednesday, a “constructive and fruitful” summit relaunched the dialogue between the two rival countries, but it also brought to light the differences that divide Washington and Beijing, especially over the Taiwan file.
It was noteworthy during the press conference held by Biden immediately after the end of the summit, which lasted for nearly 4 hours, that he still considers his Chinese counterpart a “dictator,” a statement that is likely to resonate in Beijing after a direct summit between the two leaders following months of preparations.
Asked if he still saw Xi as a dictator, Biden said, “Well, he is a dictator in the sense that he is a man who runs a country, a communist country, based on a system of government that is completely different from ours.”
The Chinese side did not immediately comment on Biden’s statements, which made similar statements last June, and Beijing described them at the time as ridiculous and provocative.
Biden stressed that yesterday’s summit with Xi was “constructive and fruitful,” noting in particular that it led to an agreement to resume high-level military talks between the two countries, and another on measures aimed at combating the drug fentanyl.
Biden added during the press conference, “I just finished several hours of meetings with President Xi, and I believe these were the most constructive and productive discussions we have had.”
Agreement and disagreements
Among the most prominent outcomes of the summit, which was held in Woodside, California, was a US-Chinese agreement “to resume high-level military talks on the basis of equality and respect,” according to what was reported by the official (Xinhua) agency in China.
Xinhua said that Xi and Biden also agreed to hold bilateral government talks on artificial intelligence, as well as to work on a working group on cooperation between the two countries in combating drugs.
According to the agency, “the two presidents agreed to hold government talks between China and the United States on artificial intelligence.”
The agency quoted Xi as telling Biden that China does not seek to “overtake or remove the United States,” stressing that, on the other hand, “the United States should not seek to suppress or contain China.”
Xinhua added that Xi told his host, “China will not follow the old path of colonialism and plunder, and will not follow the wrong path of hegemony when a country becomes strong.”
The dilemmas of trade and Taiwan
The Chinese President also warned his American counterpart that Beijing is not satisfied with the sanctions and restrictions imposed by the United States against its companies.
Xi said, “The US measures against China regarding export restrictions, investment screening and unilateral sanctions seriously harm China’s legitimate interests.”
For his part, Biden announced that he agreed with his Chinese counterpart to speak by phone “directly and immediately” when any crisis occurs.
Biden said during his press conference that he and his Chinese counterpart agreed to “keep the lines of communication open, including between me and President Xi,” adding, “He and I agreed that any of us can pick up the phone and call directly and will be answered immediately.”
But this positive atmosphere did not overcome the deep differences that separate the two largest economic powers in the world, especially the trade and Taiwan issues.
Xinhua quoted Xi as telling Biden, “The American measures against China regarding export controls, investment, and unilateral sanctions seriously harm China’s legitimate interests.”
Xi also called on his American counterpart, Joe Biden, for Washington to stop arming Taiwan, assuring him of the “inevitability” of re-annexing the island to the Chinese mainland, according to Beijing.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry quoted Xi as telling Biden, “The American side must stop arming Taiwan and support the peaceful reunification of China. China will achieve reunification, this is inevitable.”
The US President received his Chinese counterpart at a luxurious residence located in Woodside in the California hills, where they held a business meeting, followed by lunch, and then a short walk.
The post first appeared on www.aljazeera.net