Biden, Xi plan virtual summit before year-end

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“We have drawn from today’s conversation an agreement in principle to hold a virtual bilateral meeting [summit] meeting before the end of the year, ”the US official told reporters.

Asked for details, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “We’re still working on what that would look like, when and of course the final details, we don’t quite have them yet. “

Early speculation had been that the two could meet in person at the G20 summit in Italy in October, but Xi has not left China since the pandemic began early last year.

“Today’s conversation, in general, was a more meaningful and substantial engagement than what we have had to date below the leader’s level,” the official said, adding that Washington hoped this would be a “model for future meetings”.

The official said, however, that this should not be seen as a thaw in relations.

“What we are trying to achieve is a stable state between the United States and China where we are able to compete intensely but manage this competition responsibly,” the official said.

China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Yang told Sullivan the confrontation would harm both countries and the world.

“Both parties agreed to act. . . . strengthen strategic communication, properly manage differences, avoid conflicts and confrontations, ”said the ministry’s statement.

Mr Biden’s call with Mr Xi in September ended a nearly seven-month gap in direct communication between the leaders, and the two discussed the need to ensure their competition did not enter. not in conflict.

Mr Biden said on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT) that he had spoken to Xi from Taiwan, and that they had agreed to abide by the “Taiwan accord” as tensions escalated between Taipei and Beijing.

Taiwan reported 148 Chinese Air Force planes in the southern and southwestern parts of its air defense zone over a four-day period starting Friday, the same day China celebrated a patriotic holiday. , the National Day.

Taiwan’s Foreign Office, which had sought clarification from the United States on Mr. Biden’s comments, said on Wednesday that Washington had reassured them that its approach to Taiwan had not changed. and that his commitment to the democratically ruled island claimed by Beijing was “solid as a rock.” .

In his comments on Tuesday, Biden appeared to be referring to Washington’s long-standing policy of formally recognizing Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes it clear that the US move- United to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing instead of Taiwan is based on the hope that Taiwan’s future will be determined by peaceful means.

The White House said Sullivan would also travel to Brussels for meetings with NATO and European Union officials, as well as Paris, and brief Europeans on his meeting with Yang.

With trade tensions also high on the U.S.-China agenda, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, in Paris for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development meetings, said she hoped to meet with them soon. its Chinese counterparts.

On Monday (AEDT Tuesday), Tai unveiled the results of a month-long “top-down” review of China’s trade policy, pledging to hold “frank” talks with Beijing on his failure to keep promises made by former President Donald. Trump’s trade deal and end harmful industrial policies.

Reuters


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