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Biden and Xi Jinping Speak by Phone

Feb. 11 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Only a few hours after he delivered a speech at the Pentagon in which he reported on a DOD anti-China task force, President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone. Biden “affirmed his priorities of protecting the American people’s security, prosperity, health, and way of life, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific,” reports the White House readout. “President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan.”

According to the Chinese side, as reported by Xinhua—but not the White House—Biden also had some positive comments, including that China is a country with a long history and great civilization, and that the Chinese people are great people. The United States and China should avoid conflicts and can cooperate in a wide range of fields such as climate change.

The Chinese side provided a more detailed readout, in which it indicated that Xi had focused much more on the possibilities and potentials of U.S.-China cooperation. Xi pointed out that the restoration and growth of China-U.S. relations has been the most important development in international relations over the past half-century and more, reported Xinhua. The President continued, that despite various twists and difficulties, the relationship has on the whole kept moving forward and delivered enormous benefits to the Chinese and American peoples and contributed to global peace. Xi Jinping emphasized that facing the current international situation full of uncertainties, China and the United States, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, bear special international responsibilities and obligations.

Xi said that China and the United States both gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation; cooperation is the only right choice for both sides. When China and the United States work together, they can accomplish a great deal for the good of both countries and the world at large; confrontation between the two countries, however, will definitely be disastrous for both countries and the world.

“You have said that America can be defined in one word: Possibilities. We hope the possibilities will now point toward an improvement of China-U.S. relations,” Xi told Biden. The two countries should make joint efforts in the same direction, follow the spirit of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation, manage their differences, and work for the sound and stable development of China-U.S. relations. In this way, they can deliver more tangible benefits to people in both countries, and make their due contribution to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting world economic recovery, and maintaining regional peace and stability, Xi declared.

President Xi also suggested a number of actions that the two sides could take to move forward. The foreign affairs departments of the two countries could have in-depth communications on wide-ranging matters in the bilateral relationship and major international and regional issues, and the economic, financial, law enforcement and military authorities of the two countries could also have more contacts.

The two sides should re-establish the various dialogue mechanisms, read each other’s policy intentions accurately, and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation, and Xi emphasized that it is important to manage differences where they exist and jointly pursue cooperation where it is desirable to do so.

The Taiwan question and issues relating to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, etc. are China’s internal affairs and concern China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the U.S. side should respect China’s core interests and act prudently, Xi stressed.

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