Xi-Biden in-person meeting kick starts process to manage the ties: expert
By Chen Lidan, Zhan Huilan and Hou Chenchen
People's Daily app

Beijing (People's Daily) - Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his US counterpart Joe Biden on Monday ahead of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting kick-started the process to normalize bilateral ties, a Chinese expert in US studies said.

(Photos: Xinhua)

This was their first in-person meeting since Biden became US President. The two leaders exchanged views on issues of strategic importance in China-US relations and on major global and regional issues after they commenced the meeting with a handshake. Both presidents viewed the nearly three-hour-long talks as in-depth, candid, and constructive, and agreed to maintain regular contact.

The meeting’s atmosphere and outcomes beat analysts' expectations, said Wang Yong, a professor at School of International Studies and the director of the Center for American Studies at Peking University.

American media sources noticed the warmer tone in the meeting and believed the two president charted the path to improving bilateral ties.

Two leaders agreed to a series of goodwill gestures intended to improve ties between their countries after their first in-person meeting since the global pandemic began, reported the Bloomberg.

Their extended discussion focusing on strategic visions and an agreement to empower senior officials to engage in the work of managing bilateral differences were the two major outcomes achieved from the meeting, Daniel Russel, a former US official handling East Asia affairs in the Obama administration told the Wall Street Journal.

Despite divergence on some issues, the two countries know each other well and understand where their overlapping interests are and their responsibilities as major powers in the world, Wang told the People’s Daily.

Through candid exchanges, the two countries deepened the knowledge of where the “red lines” are and the strategic intent of the other side, particularly the part concerning the Taiwan question. What is equally significant is that both sides agreed to stay in touch after the leaders’ meeting, said Wang.

On the Taiwan question, which President Xi called “the first red line,” the Chinese leader expressed hope in the meeting that the US side will act on its assurance of not supporting “Taiwan independence” claims.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit prompted the Chinese mainland to take countermeasures, by which China has shown its resolve and capability to defend its national sovereignty, the expert noted.

Wang said that the Biden administration needs to act with sincerity to fulfill its commitment to the “one China policy.” Its support to secessionists on the island and the arm sales meddle in China’s internal affairs and also undermine China-US relations, which would be no good for the people of Taiwan.

At the meeting, the two leaders reached a series of agreements on maintaining bilateral dialogue and coordination in various fields, including trade, public health, and people-to-people exchanges.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday stressed the profound significance of the meeting to bilateral ties for now and future. The meeting has pointed out a clear direction, clarified a strategic framework, and initiated a process for both sides to manage and stabilize relations, the minister told media after the meeting.

Washington announced Monday that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to visit China early next year for follow-up talks.

For sure, uncertainties will continue to follow the interactions between China and the US, but the leaders’ in-person talks kick-started the process to stabilize ties, said Wang.

Both sides should focus on reopening channels of negotiations and their common interests. A key step is whether the US is willing to restore mutual trust on the Taiwan question and reverse decoupling practices, according to Wang.