By Trevor Hunnicutt, Jeff Mason and Steve Holland
WOODSIDE, California (RockedBuzz by way of Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese chief Xi Jinping agreed on Wednesday to open a presidential hotline, resume military-to-military communications and work to curb fentanyl manufacturing, exhibiting tangible progress of their first face-to-face assembly discuss in a yr.
Biden and Xi met for about 4 hours on the outskirts of San Francisco to talk about points which have strained U.S.-China relations. Latent variations stay, significantly with respect to Taiwan.
In a big breakthrough, the 2 governments intend to resume military contacts that China severed after then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022.
“We’re back to direct, open, clear and direct communication,” Biden mentioned.
Additionally, Biden mentioned he and Xi agreed on high-level communications. “He and I have agreed that each of us can answer the phone call directly and we will be heard immediately.”
But in a remark that probably angered the Chinese, Biden later advised reporters he had not modified his view that Xi is a dictator.
“Well, look, he’s. I imply, he is a dictator, within the sense that he is a man who runs a rustic that could be a communist nation,” Biden mentioned.
Xi advised Biden that damaging views of the Communist Party within the United States have been unfair, a US official advised reporters after the assembly.
Biden and Xi entered the talks looking for to iron out a tough interval in relations that took a flip for the more serious after a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon transited the United States and was shot down by an American fighter airplane in February.
The White House mentioned Biden raised areas the place Washington has issues, together with detained US residents, human rights in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong and Beijing’s aggressive actions within the South China Sea.
“Just talk, be straight with each other, so there are no misunderstandings,” Biden mentioned.
Over the previous yr, the armies of the United States and China have had a collection of near-miss and bitter clashes. After pledging to renew communications, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will meet together with his Chinese counterpart when that individual is appointed, a senior US official mentioned.
Biden and Xi agreed that China will restrict the export of things linked to the manufacturing of the opioid fentanyl, a number one reason behind overdoses within the United States. “It will save lives,” Biden mentioned, including that he appreciated Xi’s “dedication” on the difficulty.
Under the deal, China will instantly prosecute particular chemical corporations that produce fentanyl precursors, a senior U.S. official advised reporters. He promised to “belief however confirm” China’s actions on the drug.
The two leaders additionally agreed to convey collectively specialists to talk about the dangers of synthetic intelligence.
A U.S. official described an change over Taiwan, the democratic island that China claims as its territory. China’s desire is for peaceable reunification with the Chinese-claimed island of Taiwan, Xi advised Biden, the US official mentioned, however Xi went on to discuss circumstances underneath which pressure may very well be used.
Biden mentioned he was emphasizing the necessity for peace and stability within the Taiwan Strait. The US official mentioned Biden supported sustaining the established order and China respecting Taiwan’s election course of.
“President Xi responded, ‘Look, peace is fine, but at some point we have to move towards a more comprehensive resolution,’” Xi mentioned, as quoted by the official.
Xi additionally urged the United States to cease sending weapons to Taiwan and help China’s peaceable “reunification” with Taiwan, Chinese state media reported.
Bonnie Glaser, a Taiwan skilled on the German Marshall Fund of the United States, mentioned Xi seems to have conveyed each threats and assurances to Taiwan.
“The suggestion that a short-term solution needs to be found is a worrying sign, although he stressed that there are no plans for military action against Taiwan in the coming years,” he mentioned.
Biden mentioned he requested Xi to use his affect with Iran to urge Tehran not to launch proxy assaults in opposition to US targets within the Middle East because the Israel-Hamas battle continues in Gaza.
RESPECT AND WARMTH
Biden welcomed the Chinese chief to the Filoli property, a rustic home and manicured gardens about 30 miles (48 km) south of San Francisco, the place they’ll transfer later for a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) discussion board ).
APEC meets in opposition to a backdrop of relative Chinese financial weak spot, Beijing’s territorial feuds with neighbors and a battle within the Middle East that’s dividing the United States from allies.
Xi got here to the assembly looking for respect from the United States as China’s financial system struggles to get better from sluggish progress.
Biden, who had been looking for the assembly for a while, used a heat and welcoming tone. The video of the 2 shaking fingers in farewell after the assembly was printed on X by the Global Times, the state-backed Chinese tabloid.
“Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed,” Xi advised Biden as they and their delegations sat throughout from one another at a protracted desk in an ornate convention room.
Biden mentioned the United States and China should be certain that competitors between them “doesn’t lead to battle” and handle their relationship “responsibly.”
After lunch, the leaders took a brief stroll collectively within the villa’s well-kept backyard, after an interplay that lasted about 4 hours. Biden greeted reporters and gave the “two thumbs up” signal when requested how the talks have been going. “Good,” she mentioned.
Xi advised Biden in the beginning of the talks that so much had occurred since their final assembly a yr in the past in Bali, citing the influence of the Covid pandemic and calling the US-China relationship “the most important bilateral relationship in the world” .
“For two big countries like China and the United States, turning their backs on each other is not an option,” he mentioned. “It is unrealistic for one side to reshape the other.”
After the assembly, Biden welcomed international leaders to the APEC assembly in San Francisco, the place he mentioned Xi considered the go to as a homecoming given the town’s massive Chinese inhabitants.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Michael Martina, Martin Pollard, Jeff Mason, David Lawder, David Brunnstrom and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Josie Kao and Stephen Coates)