December 4, 2021

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Xi and Biden hold virtual summit amid tensions, but with moderate expectations | The world

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met on Monday (15) at a virtual summit designed to defuse tensions over the Taiwan issue and other heated issues. Although big results are not expected.

The two presidents have spoken in detail on the phone twice since Biden took office in January. Xi’s refusal to go abroad due to infection, so an online meeting was selected to hold live conversations.

Biden’s advisers are presenting the summit as an opportunity to try to avoid escalating tensions over Taiwan, an autonomous democracy that China views as a particularly turbulent province.

“As a responsible global leader, we know it is important to keep the communication channels open,” a senior U.S. government official told reporters, noting that “competition” between the two powers should not lead to “conflict.”

The meeting will be held in Beijing this Monday at 9pm GMT time and Tuesday at 8:45am, and will last for several more hours. Evidence did not specify who would attend, except for the presidents and their interpreters.

The meeting comes at a time when the Chinese presidency is tightening its grip on power, after Biden criticized Xi Jinping’s absence from key international meetings.

Relations between the two powers deteriorated during the presidency of Donald Trump (2017-2021), when he launched a trade war against China while criticizing Beijing for the epidemic.

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping – Photo: Ivan Woochi / AB Photography and Reproduction / United Nations / YouTube

Biden has transformed the conflict into a struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, and although his tone is measured more than Trump, the relationship between Washington and Beijing remains complicated on issues such as Taiwan, human rights and trade.

Taiwan’s fate is currently creating more tensions, with Chinese military operations intensifying with a record number of incursions into the island’s air defense zone.

Over the weekend, tensions became clear when Foreign Secretary Anthony Blingen and his Chinese envoy, Wang Yi, engaged in a heated conversation.

Blingen expressed “concern about Beijing’s continued military, diplomatic and economic pressures” on Taipei, while Wang warned against any possible US action in favor of “Taiwan independence”.

On Monday, Beijing placed the responsibility of improving relations on Pitan’s shoulders.

“We hope the United States and China will work in the same direction for a better understanding,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Biden’s bias in the US. China’s occupation trade.

But he noted that there is room for cooperation in many areas, such as climate change.

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