Old Friendship – New Challenges: Joe Biden – Xi Jinping

The contacts between Biden and Chinese leaders over the years

by Joe Bridge – November 13, 2022

On November 14, President Biden and President Xi Jinping will participate in the G20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and hold talks during this period.

After the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, President Biden should be the one with the most contacts with Chinese leaders among American leaders. The New York Times reported , “The two met at least eight times in the U.S. and China in the 18 months beginning in early 2011, according to former U.S. officials. They held formal meetings, took walks together, and attended a rural Chinese school. Eating together privately for more than 25 hours with only an interpreter.”

For example, on June 30, 2011, Xi Jinping and Biden ” meet again ” in Italy and exchanged views on issues of common concern such as Sino-US relations. Xi Jinping pointed out, “China and the United States share extensive common interests and shoulder important common responsibilities. The development of Sino-US relations is in the interests of both sides and is also beneficial to the world. In the late 1970s a rising China is a positive Progress reflects the vision of a statesman. Since President Obama took office, you have pursued a positive China policy with him and contributed to the expansion of dialogue, exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.”

Biden expressed his agreement with Xi Jinping’s views on China-US relations. He said the U.S.-China relationship is the most important bilateral relationship for the United States. The United States believes that China is an important factor in the stable development of the world. China’s success is in the interests of the United States, and mutual benefit and win-win results can be achieved between the United States and China.

On August 18, 2011, Vice President Biden visited China, and Xi Jinping held talks with him in the Great Hall of the People.  Xi Jinping said : “Vice President Biden has long been committed to promoting Sino-US relations, and believes that China’s success, stability and prosperity are beneficial to both countries and the world. I appreciate this. I also believe that under the new situation, China and the United States will with broader common interests, they also have to shoulder more important common responsibilities. The strengthening of cooperation between China and the United States is in line with the common expectations of the two countries and the people of the world. China is willing to work with the United States to make common contributions to the development of the two great countries of China and the United States. Work hard.”

Biden said that he has always admired China’s long history and culture and the important contributions made by the Chinese people over the centuries.  Since 1979, China has made more progress than at any time in history. The United States wants to build a closer relationship with China, a relationship of great importance to both countries. After that, Xi Jinping accompanied Biden to visit Sichuan .

On February 14, 2012, Xi Jinping visited the United States as Vice President, and Biden was the host. The two held talks at the White House that day . Xi Jinping pointed out, “In the process of building the China-US cooperative partnership, various problems and challenges will be encountered from time to time. Both sides should have full confidence, lasting perseverance, and always grasp the main line of common interests, and not let contradictions and differences be allowed. The overall situation of China-U.S. relations will be affected, and we must join hands to blaze a new path of harmonious coexistence, healthy competition, and win-win cooperation among major powers.”

Biden said, “U.S.-China relations are one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. The importance has attracted worldwide attention. The Obama administration team has always been committed to strengthening relations with China, and believes that a prosperous, stable and growing China is beneficial to both the United States and China, and the world. Containing China is not a US policy and is neither desirable , is not feasible.”

On December 4, 2013, Xi Jinping met with visiting Biden again in Beijing . Xi Jinping told Biden, “The world today is not peaceful. China and the United States have common responsibilities in maintaining world peace and stability and promoting human development and progress. Strengthening dialogue and cooperation is the only correct choice for the two countries. Both sides should firmly grasp the correctness of bilateral relations. The direction will remain unshakable, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, actively expand practical cooperation, properly handle sensitive issues and differences, and ensure the continued, healthy and stable development of China-US relations.

The decision to comprehensively deepen the reform is impressive, and I believe that under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese people will surely reach new heights in the process of building a great and powerful country. It is entirely in the interest of the United States to maintain China’s development. The U.S. side is willing to work with the Chinese side to improve various mechanisms, maintain regular dialogues and exchanges, strengthen practical cooperation, strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the two militaries, manage and control differences in a constructive way, eliminate all kinds of interference, and prevent them from affecting the overall relationship between the two countries. “

During President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United States in September 2015, Vice President Biden held a large reception for him on the seventh floor of the US State Department.

On January 18, 2017, President Xi Jinping met with outgoing Vice President Biden at the Davos Forum in Switzerland . Biden conveyed President Obama’s sincere greetings to President Xi Jinping and thanked President Xi Jinping for his positive efforts to promote the development of US-China relations.  Biden said the U.S.-China relationship is an extremely important bilateral relationship. In the 21st century, the growth and prosperity of both the United States and China is critical to the world. The US hopes that the US and China can continue to deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation. 

Xi Jinping spoke positively of Biden’s contribution to promoting China-US relations and mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, and asked Biden to convey his best wishes to President Obama. Xi Jinping also said that over the past three years, with the joint efforts of both sides, China-US relations have developed in the right direction and achieved important and positive results. Bilateral trade, two-way investment stock and personnel exchanges between the two countries have all hit record highs.

After taking office in 2021, Biden has had five video or phone calls with Xi.

On February 10, 2021, three weeks after taking office as President of the United States, Biden had a phone call with Xi Jinping .

On September 9, 2021, President Biden held “extensive and strategic” discussions with Xi Jinping , and the two sides agreed to engage candidly on a range of topics.

On November 16, 2021, Xi Jinping and Biden held a video summit . The two sides had full and in-depth communication and exchanges on strategic, overall and fundamental issues related to the development of China-US relations, as well as important issues of mutual concern. Xi Jinping told Biden that China and the U.S. should focus on four priorities:

  • First, demonstrate the responsibility of major powers and lead the international community to cooperate in addressing outstanding challenges. 
  • The second is to promote exchanges at all levels and in various fields in the spirit of equality and mutual benefit, so as to stimulate more positive energy into China-US relations. 
  • The third is to manage differences and sensitive issues in a constructive manner to prevent China-US relations from derailing and out of control. 
  • Fourth, strengthen coordination and cooperation on major international and regional hotspot issues to provide more public goods to the world.

On March 18, 2022, the two spoke on the phone after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war .

On July 28, 2022, before US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the two leaders spoke online for the fifth time .

On November 14, the “Xi Visiting Meeting” attracted worldwide attention.

Biden said at a Nov. 10 press conference that he would “have a dialogue” with Xi over the Taiwan Strait, while reiterating that the U.S. policy toward Taiwan “has not changed at all.” White House officials also said the summit will also discuss the war in Ukraine, North Korea’s recent missile and nuclear activities, efforts to combat climate change and other topics the two sides may be able to work on. 

A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The steady development of Sino-US relations is in the interests of both sides and is also the expectation of all countries in the world. We hope that the US side will work with China in the spirit of mutual respect, and play a responsible role in maintaining world stability and development. effect.”

What’s the point of this meeting?

First of all, this is the reunion of old friends, not the first time strangers have met. However, during their past interactions and today’s reunion, Sino-US relations have been turned upside down. As they have mixed feelings, they wonder if they will reflect on their respective responsibilities for the declining bilateral relationship.

Secondly, this “encounter” happened after a major domestic event just experienced by the two countries, as well as China’s “20th National Congress” and the mid-term elections in the United States. With the Democratic Party continuing to govern, the two leaders probably have the feeling of “the spring breeze and horseshoe disease”. In a good mood, it may be easier to talk about something specific.

Third, although from February 2021 to July 2022, the two leaders will have contact every quarter on average, but because they are not face-to-face, they may not know the other’s true view of the bilateral relationship at all. This meeting is their best chance to “exchange cards” or “draw the red line.” They can and must “talk heart to heart” and “give heart to heart” instead of scripting.

Fourth, Biden is the US president who is most familiar with the historical evolution of the Taiwan issue since Nixon’s visit to China 50 years ago, and who has expressed the most resolute stance on US involvement in the Taiwan Strait conflict. At the same time, Biden has always emphasized that the United States does not seek conflict with China and should add guardrails to China-US competition. Chinese leaders can ask Biden in person to make a clear statement on the bottom line of the US on the Taiwan Strait issue, because for China, the involvement of external forces in the great cause of reunification across the strait means war. For Biden, he could also get Chinese leaders to explain how Beijing will advance the shared values ​​of humanity at home and abroad.

Finally, after reaching a certain degree of consensus on the Taiwan Strait issue, the two leaders should discuss whether they can implement the three certainties of bilateral relations proposed by China , namely, that China and the United States must coexist peacefully, grow rich together and tackle global challenges together. These three certainties are fundamentally different from the “can cooperate, dare to compete, and not afraid of conflict” proposed by the United States. If China insists that bilateral cooperation must be premised on Washington’s abandonment of containment, and the United States believes that cooperation, competition and containment can go hand in hand, the currently out-of-control bilateral relationship will continue to deteriorate and may slide into armed conflict. After the summit, the two leaders should appoint their respective envoys to hold regular or irregular talks on how China and the United States will meet each other in the next few years, and confirm the date of the next summit.

Relatively speaking, China will not undergo much policy changes in the next five years, and the United States will have another election to confirm the next president in two years. Therefore, the next two years will be a decisive period for stabilizing bilateral relations, safeguarding Indo-Pacific peace, and promoting global development.

The Bali summit is the beginning of the two major countries to demonstrate their responsible demeanor.

 How will his meeting with Xi go?

老朋友,新话题 – 美中故事汇

meizhong.report •

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