San Francisco: US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (local time) led discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping on critical issues at the US-China Summit, with a senior US official noting that Biden emphasised the Middle East, CNN reported.
Xi told Biden that the United States should “take real actions to honour its commitment of not supporting ‘Taiwan Independence’,” as reported by Chinese state media.
“China will eventually achieve reunification, and will inevitably achieve reunification,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in the readout.
As the conversation delved into Taiwan, Xi expressed concerns over the island being the most significant and dangerous issue in US-China relations. He outlined China’s preference for peaceful reunification and the conditions under which force might be employed. Biden reiterated the US commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
“President Xi responded, ‘Look, peace is all well and good, but at some point we need to move towards resolution more generally,” CNN quoted the US official as saying.
Regarding Taiwan’s upcoming vote in January, the US requested that China respect the island’s electoral process. Despite ongoing concerns about China’s substantial military buildup around Taiwan, officials left the meeting with the impression that Xi was not gearing up for a massive invasion.
During the talks, Biden also urged Xi to leverage China’s influence with Iran to discourage further escalation, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed that they had already engaged in discussions with the Iranians on this matter.
The extent to which Iran took China’s messages seriously remained uncertain to Biden’s aides after the meeting. Biden clarified his view that Hamas should be considered separately from the broader Palestinian issue, according to CNN.
Throughout the dialogue, the US official said that Xi “revealed quite clearly a deep knowledge of some of the debates about China in the United States and I think in some respects, he’s quite sensitive to come of those discussions.”
Following the summit, a senior US official told CNN that Biden and Xi agreed to address fentanyl production and restore military communication.
The results, while seen as progress, fell short of a joint statement or formal declaration of cooperation. China committed to targeting companies producing precursor chemicals for fentanyl, a potent narcotic contributing to the US drug crisis. The US will closely monitor China’s follow-through on these commitments, as reported by CNN.
Xi also agreed to mechanisms addressing potential military miscalculations and established forums for both sides to voice their concerns. The re-establishment of military-to-military communication was a significant point of emphasis for the US, with Biden and top advisers consistently raising it in conversations with their Chinese counterparts.
Despite challenges, the summit concluded positively, with Biden stating that the talks went well and noting “real progress” on social media after a walk around the historic estate south of San Francisco with Xi, CNN reported.