Recently, Biden had a 90-minute phone call with President Xi Jinping of China to discuss “strategic” solutions; this call was also emphasizing the need to prevent the stiff competition from turning into conflict.
According to a senior official from the White House, both leaders agreed to discuss the issues fully and straightforwardly.
Biden and Xi agreed to talk about their conflicts straightforwardly
On late Thursday night, in his White House residence, Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping to address areas where the United States and China conflict in interests, values, and perspectives. However, Biden made clear that the conversation is in relation to the continuous effort of the U.S. to responsibly handle the apparent competition with China.
President Joe Biden spoke by phone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the White House said, with both leaders discussing the need to avoid letting competition between the world's two largest economies veer into conflict https://t.co/mIknBmz083 pic.twitter.com/OPbC2SBpHR
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 10, 2021
The official explained that historically, the U.S. and China have a “binary” relationship; usually, the U.S. is either in a period of confrontation or a period of engagement with China. Yet, this is not the case anymore; the Biden administration believes the goal should be to achieve a poised state of affairs, the official said.
The Biden official likewise added that although the U.S. should be in a competitive and stiff posture, it should be one wherein they can do multiple things all at once. This was referring to holding China responsible for its acts, while at the same time, protecting the values and interests of the United States and its allies.
The two leaders had an “in-depth” and “candid” conversation for areas where China is “problematic”
For aspects where the behavior of China is destabilizing or problematic, the Biden official stated that the two leaders will have an “in-depth” and “candid” conversation.
The administration official emphasized they will work with the Chinese government on areas where their interests coincide and underline this is how the Biden administration believes competition can be maintained responsibly.
The White House likewise mentioned that the president highlighted the enduring interest of the U.S. for stability, prosperity, and peace, all around the globe and within the Indo-Pacific.
The two world leaders likewise discussed the duty that both countries have in ensuring that the existing competition between them will not veer into a fight. However, according to a Biden official, the mood of the recent call was natural and “candid,” the same as past conversations the president had with the Chinese leader.
On the other hand, another official of the White House mentioned that since Biden’s first conversation with the Chinese president, the administration had been engaging with government officials in China.
NEWS: Biden and Xi held their second phone call tonight. The discussion was initiated by President Biden after lower-level talks with PRC officials over the last few months were not fruitful and the U.S. got frustrated by Beijing’s lack of serious engagement, per admin official.
— Jenny Leonard (@jendeben) September 10, 2021
However, the Biden administration was not pleased with the actions of the Chinese officials, noting they were not taking the diplomatic meeting seriously. The White House official remarked this is not how responsible countries should act, particularly when it comes to matters of global significance.
In the call, Biden emphasized the value of building open communication, wherein both countries can address the common interests and their differences. When it comes to handling stiff competition, this aspect is what the Biden administration thinks is essential.