Washington. Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping have not broken the bridges of understanding and diplomacy despite the harsh and complex environment of the bilateral relationship.
Their common agenda was shown during the COP26 climate summit by reaching an agreement that looks more like shared responsibility than quantifiable goals.
The virtual summit yesterday was held, according to the US leader, to avoid “a conflict” between the United States.
“China and the United States must improve their communication and cooperation,” said Xi, who said he was happy to see “his old friend” for the first time on the screen.
“I am willing to work with you,” the Chinese president continued.
The conversation between the two began at 7:45 p.m. Washington time and could last several hours. At the close of the edition there was a preview of what was discussed.
Biden’s advisers present the summit as an opportunity to try to avoid an escalation in tensions, particularly over Taiwan, an autonomous democracy that China considers a rogue province.
“We know that, as a responsible global leader, it is important to keep communication channels open,” a senior US government official told reporters about Biden. “The president will also make it clear that we want to build common safeguards to avoid miscalculations or misunderstandings,” he added, although he sought to moderate expectations by noting that great results are not expected from the summit.
The meeting comes after Biden criticized Xi’s absence from major international events and as the Chinese president strengthens his grip on the regime.
“As the world’s two largest economies and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation to solve the many challenges they face,” Xi said, calling Biden a ” old friend”,
“Maybe it should start more formally, although you and I have never been so formal with each other,” Biden said from a conference table in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, grinning widely when the Chinese president appeared on a big screen. in the living room. “You and I have talked about this: all countries must follow the same rules of the road.”
The bilateral relationship between the United States and China “seems to me to have a profound impact not only on our countries, but, frankly, on the rest of the world,” Biden said.
The two leaders have spoken at length by phone twice since Biden’s inauguration in January. Given Xi’s refusal to travel abroad due to the pandemic, an online meeting was chosen.
The first summit between the two reflects the diplomatic interest.