On Monday President Biden had a virtual conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The countries were at a stalemate for a long while, also with the increasing hostilities between the two since the pandemic, comes as a relief.
The White House had shared concerns regarding the handling of the Hong Kong crowds, amongst mass protests for restoration of democracy in the region. Whilst also touching on more sensitive topics such as the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
The country of Taiwan was also a pivotal point in the conversation. While clarifying the position of the White House the President said that they respect the sentiment of ‘One China’ but he also critically spoke about how the brutality by Chinese forces is disturbing the status quo in an autonomous and democratic Hong Kong.
The Chinese Media portraying the other side of the story stated that President Xi made the U.S. President aware that he was “playing with fire” on the issue of Taiwan, and the Chinese simply sought peaceful ‘reunification with them. However, they also added that the President said that Beijing is ready to take “resolute measures” to crush misadventures
such as that of Taiwanese Independence.
Another Chinese state-run media also stated that the conversation was transparent between the two, and although they are competitors, they also are leaders, which creates a healthy scope for cooperation.
“The meeting itself was really about the two leaders discussing ways to manage the competition between the United States and China responsibly and ways to establish guardrails for that competition,” the official said. “That was a theme throughout the conversation.”
This was one of the first formal conversations between the leaders and it lasted over three and a half hours. Since the pandemic, previously the two have only spoken on the phone since Biden took office. President Xi also hasn’t left the country since January 2020, when the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic first took place.