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Takeaways from Biden-Xi Meeting


President Joe Biden listens as he meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, 2021.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting Monday. Here are a few of the key takeaways from their talk.

Competitors that communicate

Both Biden and Xi spoke publicly about the need for their governments to be open and honest with each other.

Biden said the two leaders have a responsibility “to ensure that the competition between our countries does not veer into conflict, whether intended or unintended. Just simple, straightforward competition.”

Xi said the two countries “should respect each other, coexist in peace, and pursue win-win cooperation.”

U.S. President Joe Biden waves to Chinese leader Xi Jinping as they begin a virtual meeting from the White House in Washington, U.S. Nov. 15, 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden waves to Chinese leader Xi Jinping as they begin a virtual meeting from the White House in Washington, U.S. Nov. 15, 2021.

Areas of cooperation

With the United States and China holding key seats on the U.N. Security Council and their status as the world’s two largest economies, Biden and Xi noted there are important areas of mutual interest.

“It seems to me we need to establish some common sense guardrails, to be clear and honest where we disagree, and work together where our interests intersect, especially on vital global issues like climate change,” Biden said.

Xi said a steady relationship “is required for advancing our two countries’ respective development and for safeguarding a peaceful and stable international environment, including finding effective responses to global challenges such as climate change, which you referenced, and the COVID pandemic.”

Range of topics

The White House said the meeting included discussion of China’s human rights practices in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. The leaders also discussed freedom of navigation for ships and, according to the White House, the need to protect U.S. workers and businesses from China’s “unfair trade and economic practices.”

The statement also said regarding Taiwan, Biden “underscored that the United States remains committed to the ‘one China’ policy.” It also said the United States “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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