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Joe Biden and Xi Jinping: A first time meeting ahead of the G-20 Summit

On Monday, November 14, US President Joe Biden met the Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Bali, Indonesia, a day before the G-20 summit to stabilize the relations and tensions between the two countries. Both wanted this meeting, which lasted three hours, to discuss global priorities. This is the first time Biden and Xi Jinping have shaken hands since the democrat arrived at the White House.


According to reporters, Joe Biden was the first of the two men to start talking. He said: “As leaders of our two nations, we share responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever nearing conflict, and find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our cooperation.” Later on, “A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country,” Xi said through a translator. “He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world.”


Then, the fight against climate change was a big topic in the discussion. As the two biggest CO2 producers in the world, the United States and China will resume their cooperation in the fight against climate change. However, their collaboration was stopped last summer because of a disagreement between the two countries on the Taïwan situation. 


Regarding Taïwan, “ The Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations,” according to the press agency Xinhua. During a press conference right after the meeting, Joe Biden reacted to what the Chinese leader said about the Taïwan situation: “I made it clear that we want to see cross-strait issues peacefully resolved, so it never has to come to that, I don’t think there is an imminent attempt by China to invade Taiwan.”


Later during the discussion, the two leaders agreed on the non-use of nuclear weapons regarding the war in Ukraine; the White House stated: “President Biden and President Xi reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won and underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.”


Another global priority has been discussed by Biden and Xi, the nuclear tests done by North Korea. 

During this, the Democratic leader explained to the Chinese leader that China has an “obligation” to dissuade North Korea from any nuclear tests. 

However, if a nuclear test happens, Biden added: “We would have to take certain actions that would be more defensive on our behalf, and it would not be directed against... China, but it would be to send a clear message to North Korea. We are going to defend our allies, as well as American soil and American capacity.”


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