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China-US should respect, coexist with each other: Xi Jinping tells Joe Biden at virtual summit


Image Source : AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping 

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Joe Biden that China and the US should respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue a win-win cooperation as the two leaders held a virtual summit on Tuesday.

Speaking at the summit, Xi called for developing a sound and steady China-US relationship and expressed his readiness to work with Biden to build consensus and take active steps to move the bilateral relations forward in a positive direction.

The highly-anticipated summit, which began early Tuesday, is the third engagement between Xi, 68, and Biden, 78, since February. The two leaders had a lengthy phone call in September. The meeting came amid high tension in China-US bilateral relationship over Beijing’s actions on issues like trade, human rights, the South China Sea and Taiwan.

In his opening remarks circulated by the official media here, Xi said the two countries faced multiple challenges and they must increase communication and cooperation. China and the US should respect each other, coexist in peace, and pursue win-win cooperation, Xi said, expressing his readiness to work with Biden to build consensus and take active steps to move China-US relations forward in a positive direction.

According to a AP news agency report, Biden at the start of the meeting said, “It seems to be our responsibility as the leaders of China and the United States to ensure that the competition between our countries does not veer into conflict, whether intended or unintended, rather than simple, straightforward competition.”

A host of issues ranging from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, besides the AUKUS — a trilateral security pact between the US, the UK and Australia — and the Quad alliance comprising the US, India, Japan and Australia, which Beijing says is aimed to contain its rise, were expected to figure in the discussions.

China is concerned that Biden is still continuing with the trade war initiated by his predecessor Donald Trump. Since 2017, the US and China have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods after Washington accused Beijing of blocking access to its markets and stealing American intellectual property.

Despite tensions on a host of issues including Taiwan, the virtual summit came days after both the countries pledged to increase cooperation to rein in greenhouse gas emissions at the recently concluded UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Xi pointed out that both China and the US are at critical stages of development, and the “global village” of humanity faces multiple challenges. He said as the world’s two largest economies and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the US need to increase communication and cooperation, each run their domestic affairs well and, at the same time, shoulder their share of international responsibilities, and work together to advance the noble cause of world peace and development.

This is the shared desire of the people of the two countries and around the world, and the joint mission of Chinese and American leaders, Xi said.

He stressed that a sound and steady China-US relationship is required for advancing the two countries’ respective development and for safeguarding a peaceful and stable international environment, including finding effective responses to global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing so will advance the interests of the two peoples and meet the expectations of the international community, he said.

The White House set low expectations for the meeting with Xi: No major announcements or even a joint statement were anticipated, the AP report said.

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