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‘At New Starting Point,’ China’s Xi Says US has a Choice Between Solidarity, Confrontation

Dubbed a “new starting point” to stabilize bilateral relations, China’s President Xi Jinping told his American counterpart Joe Biden that the US has to choose between solidarity and confrontation.

Xi noted the two options with China and the US “in the era of global transformations unseen in a century” would “decide the future of humanity and planet earth.”

“One is to enhance solidarity and cooperation and join hands to meet global challenges and promote global security and prosperity,” Xi told Biden at Filoli Estate in San Francisco as the two sides held a “candid and in-depth exchange of views,” according to a readout from Beijing.

“The second option,” Xi told Biden, “is to cling to the zero-sum mentality, provoke rivalry and confrontation, and drive the world toward turmoil and division.”

Beijing and Washington held their highest-level talks in almost a year since Xi and Biden met in Indonesia last year in November.

The Chinese side described the San Francisco meeting as “positive, comprehensive and constructive.”

‘Competition cannot solve problems’

Calling China’s relations with the US as “the most important,” Xi said: “For China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option.”

Pushing back on what he called “unrealistic for one side to remodel the other,” he added: “Conflict and confrontation have unbearable consequences for both sides.”

“Major-country competition cannot solve the problems facing China and the United States or the world,” he emphasized, adding the world was “big enough to accommodate both countries, and one country’s success is an opportunity for the other.”

Reiterating that mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation were “the lessons learned from 50 years of China-US relations, Xi said Washington “should put in a lot of efforts to follow them.”

‘Right perception’ of China

Urging Washington to develop “a right perception” of China, Xi stressed China was “consistently committed to having a stable, healthy and sustainable relationship with the United States.”

But, he added: “China has interests that must be safeguarded, principles that must be upheld, and red lines that must not be crossed.”

Urging more communications, dialogues, and consultations, Xi said the two sides should jointly manage disagreements effectively.

Noting that the common interests between China and the US “have increased, not decreased,” Xi said: “It is important to fully utilize the restored and new mechanisms in foreign policy, economy, finance, commerce, agriculture, and other fields, and carry out cooperation in such areas as counternarcotics, judicial and law enforcement affairs, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and science and technology.”

Xi said Beijing and Washington should jointly “shoulder responsibilities as major countries.”

“The problems facing human society cannot be solved without cooperation between major countries,” he said, adding the two sides need to jointly promote people-to-people exchanges.

“The two sides should increase scheduled flights, advance tourism cooperation, expand subnational exchanges, strengthen cooperation in education and disability affairs, and reduce negative factors hindering people-to-people exchanges,” he added.

‘Taiwan’s reunification with China unstoppable’

Elaborating on China’s position on Taiwan, Xi said: “The Taiwan question remains the most important and most sensitive issue in China-US relations.”

He urged Washington to “take real actions to honor its commitment of not supporting ‘Taiwan independence’, stop arming Taiwan, and support China’s peaceful reunification.”

Xi stressed: “China will realize reunification, and this is unstoppable.”

Pointing out US actions against China regarding export control, investment screening, and unilateral sanctions, he said such measures “seriously hurt China’s legitimate interests.”

“Development of China is innovation-driven. Stifling China’s technological progress is nothing but a move to contain China’s high-quality development and deprive the Chinese people of their right to development,” he added.

During the luncheon hosted by the US president, Xi and Biden exchanged views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and other international and regional issues of mutual concern.

Describing the bilateral meeting as constructive, China’s Foreign Ministry said: “It has charted the course for improving and developing China-US relations.”

“San Francisco should be a new starting point for stabilizing China-US relations,” it said, adding Xi and Biden instructed their teams to build on the understandings reached in Bali and to timely follow up on and implement the new vision agreed on at San Francisco.

“The two heads of state agreed to continue their regular contact,” it said.

Panda diplomacy

Following his detailed meeting with Biden and his team, Xi was later hosted for a welcome dinner where he addressed politicians, businessmen, policymakers, and friends of China.

“I was told that many American people, especially children, were really reluctant to say goodbye to the pandas, and went to the zoo to see them off,” Xi said, referring to the return of pandas to China from the US in recent months.

“Pandas have long been envoys of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples. We are ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation, and do our best to meet the wishes of the Californians so as to deepen the friendly ties between our two peoples,” he said.

On increasing footfall of Americans on Chinese soil, Xi said China was “ready to invite 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs in the next five years.”

Source : aa