Xi Jinping and Joe Biden working to ‘enhance trust’ between US and China, says Foreign Minister Wang Yi after summit

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: South China Morning Post
November 16, 2023 at 06:16
  • The two presidents announced deals on resuming military communications and tackling the US fentanyl crisis at their meeting in California
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks to reporters after the Xi-Biden summit. Photo: CCTV
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks to reporters after the Xi-Biden summit. Photo: CCTV

Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden sought to “enhance trust, manage differences and expand cooperation”, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said following their summit.
Speaking to reporters in California after the meeting, Wang said the two sides reached a consensus in multiple areas, including widely anticipated deals on resuming top-level military-to-military communications and setting up a working group to tackle the fentanyl crisis in the United States.

The two leaders talked for four hours at the Filoli Estate outside San Francisco, a meeting Wang described as “historic”, “comprehensive” and “in-depth”. He also said that it would lay down guidelines for driving “stable and healthy” relations in future.

Biden offered a state visit-level reception for the Chinese leader, who was visiting the United States for the first time in six years following a significant deterioration over issues such as tariffs, Taiwan, the South China Sea and hi-tech competition.

“The San Francisco meeting is an important meeting to enhance trust, resolve doubts, manage differences, and expand cooperation between China and the United States,” Wang said.

He also emphasised that the Chinese President had been invited by his US counterpart for a separate summit while he was visiting California for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Wang said both sides will also increase consultations on business, economy, finance, export controls, Asia-Pacific affairs, oceans, arms control and non-proliferation, as well as foreign affairs.

The US and China have set up multiple working groups on different issues in recent months as relations appeared to show signs of thawing. But these working groups did not include one covering the Asia-Pacific region, which has seen an increasing number of encounters between the two countries’ militaries.

The two also agreed to initiate negotiations on renewing the US-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement despite growing calls in the US Congress to scrap the long-running agreement due to the escalating technological rivalry between the two sides.

They also agreed to restart the China-US Joint Committee on Agriculture, and to “significantly increase” the number of direct flights between the two countries, which have yet to return to pre-Covid levels.

Wang also said there had been “all-round communication” on the Ukraine and Israel-Gaza wars, on climate change and on artificial intelligence.

Hours ahead of the summit, the two sides released a joint action plan to tackle climate change and they have also agreed to establish an intergovernmental dialogue mechanism on artificial intelligence.
They also discussed issues where there are “divisions”, which i ncluded Beijing asking the US to abide by the one-China principle and stop arming Taiwan.

According to the White House, Biden told Xi that the US one-China policy remains unchanged and called for military “restraint” in the Taiwan Strait.

The Biden administration has increased arms sales for the island and the US military has made regular “freedom of navigation” transits through the Taiwan Strait, often triggering a show of force by the People’s Liberation Army in response.

Tensions between the two superpowers have also extended to the tech front as Washington ramps up measures to limit China’s access to sensitive technologies, including semiconductor-related exports, that it fears can have a military use.

Wang said Xi had told Biden these restrictions were not “de-risking” but creating risks instead.

“These wrong practices and the resulting uncertainty in China-US relations have become the biggest risk. Suppressing China’s science and technology is to curb China’s high-quality development and deprive the Chinese people of their right to development. We will never agree to it, and they will never succeed,” Wang said.

“The United States should take China’s concerns seriously, lift unilateral sanctions, and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies.”

According to Wang, Xi also said that China and the US should be “partners” instead of “rivals” and act in their mutual benefit.


  Reader Comments

You did not use the site, Click here to remain logged. Timeout: 60 second