Go to home page

U.S. and China Agree on a Virtual Summit between Xi and Biden Summit before Year’s End

Oct. 6, 2021 (EIRNS)—With tensions between the United States and China rising to a fever pitch in recent days, President Biden dispatched National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to meet with in Zurich today with China’s top diplomat, Politburo member Yang Jiechi. “We do have out of today’s conversation an agreement in principle to hold a virtual bilateral (summit) meeting before the end of the year” between Presidents Biden and Xi, an unnamed senior U.S. official told reporters. Although no specifics were made public, even the simple announcement of such a meeting is a significant accomplishment in the U.S.-China arena, in light of recent conflicts over the issue of Taiwan in particular.

President Biden stated last night, after returning from a trip to Michigan, that “I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree ... we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,” an apparent reference to the One China policy, which has been the bedrock of U.S.-China relations for decades, and which the Chinese view as being threatened by U.S. and international support for Taiwan’s “independence.”

After two sessions of discussions in Zurich—reportedly chosen as being an equal distance to travel for each side—the senior U.S. official reported that “Today’s conversation, broadly speaking, was a more meaningful and substantive engagement than we’ve had to date below the leader level,” adding that Washington hoped it would be a “model for future encounters.” The official cautioned that the meeting shouldn’t be seen as a thaw in relations, however. “What we are trying to achieve is a steady state between the United States and China where we are able to compete intensely but to manage that competition responsibly.”

The Chinese side issued a more extensive readout on the meeting through Xinhua. “The meeting was constructive and conducive to enhancing mutual understanding. The two sides agreed to take action to implement the spirit of the call between the two heads of state on September 10, strengthen strategic communication, properly manage differences, avoid conflict and confrontation, seek mutual benefit and win-win results, and work together to push China-U.S. relations back on the right track of healthy and stable development. Yang Jiechi pointed out that whether China and the United States can properly handle their relations has a bearing on the fundamental interests of the two countries and their peoples, as well as the future and destiny of the world....

“The United States should deeply understand the nature of mutual benefit and win-win relations between the two countries, and correctly understand China’s domestic and foreign policies and strategic intentions. China opposes using ‘competition’ to define Sino-U.S. relations.

“Yang Jiechi said that China attaches importance to President Biden’s recent positive statements on Sino-U.S. relations. He noted that the U.S. has stated that it has no intention of containing China’s development and will not engage in a ‘new cold war’.... Yang Jiechi expounded China’s solemn position on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, maritime, and human rights, and demanded that the United States truly respect China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and stop using the above issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

“The United States expressed its adherence to the one-China policy....

“Both sides agreed to maintain regular dialogue and communication on important issues.”

Back to top    Go to home page clear