US President Joe Biden (78) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (68) want to hold a video conference this year amid a tense relationship. There is an “agreement in principle” for a “virtual two-person meeting,” said a US government representative in Washington on Wednesday.
It goes on to say: “The President said how nice it would be to see Xi again after several years.”
Two phone calls since Biden took office
The government official also referred to media reports that Xi will not travel to the G20 summit in Rome at the end of October. Otherwise the summit would have been a good opportunity for the two presidents to meet. Both have made two phone calls since Biden took office in January, most recently in September.
Relations between the US and China have been extremely strained for years. The Biden government sees the economically and militarily emerging China as the greatest geopolitical challenge of the 21st century. The two largest economies in the world are embroiled in a trade dispute, among other things.
Most recently, the US also sharply criticized the repeated Chinese fighter planes in the defensive airspace of Taiwan. Beijing responded with criticism of a nuclear submarine deal between the US, UK and Australia in response to China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific. China’s dealings with the Muslim Uyghur minority and with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are also causing controversy.
Six-hour conversation in Zurich
Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (44) and the top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi (71) met in Switzerland on Wednesday. The talks in Zurich lasted around six hours, as the US government representative in Washington said.
According to the White House, Sullivan stressed that the USA would continue to invest in its “national strength” and cooperate closely with allies and partners, while at the same time seeking talks with Chinese government officials in order to ensure “responsible competition”. (AFP / euk)