WASHINGTON — President Biden spoke Wednesday night with President Xi Jinping of China, elevating considerations about Beijing’s aggressive insurance policies overseas and human rights abuses at dwelling in the primary dialog between the 2 leaders since Mr. Biden’s election.
Turning to what could also be a very powerful international relationship of his presidency, Mr. Biden issued these warnings whereas providing to cooperate on world priorities of mutual curiosity.
In a abstract of the decision, the White House stated that Mr. Biden “underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan.” But the leaders additionally mentioned “the shared challenges of global health security, climate change and preventing weapons proliferation,” in line with the abstract.
According to the official Chinese account of the 2 leaders’ name, issued by Xinhua, Mr. Xi cautioned Mr. Biden that the 2 powers needed to cooperate or threat calamity.
“When China and the United States cooperate, both sides gain, and when they fight, both are harmed,” Mr. Xi stated, in line with the Chinese abstract. “Chinese-U.S. cooperation can achieve many great things that benefit both countries and the whole world. Confrontation between China and the U.S. would certainly be a disaster for both countries and the world.”
Mr. Xi stated the 2 international locations may additionally open up extra contact in financial, monetary, regulation enforcement and navy spheres, and known as for “re-establishing” dialogue to foster mutual understanding and “avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments.” Greater cooperation, he added, would additionally assist struggle the coronavirus pandemic, revive the worldwide financial system and keep regional stability.
But Mr. Xi gave no signal of giving floor on Xinjiang, Hong Kong or Taiwan, and as an alternative warned Mr. Biden to tread rigorously. These subjects had been “China’s domestic affair,” Mr. Xi stated, in line with Xinhua. “In matters concerning Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, the U.S. side should respect China’s core interests and act with caution.”
Although it was their first dialog since changing into their nations’ respective leaders, Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi are effectively acquainted. In 2011 and 2012, when Mr. Biden was the vp and Mr. Xi was the inheritor obvious to China’s presidency, the 2 males spent dozens of hours collectively. In a recent interview with CBS News, Mr. Biden stated that he believed he had spent extra time with Mr. Xi than he has with some other world chief. “I know him pretty well,” Mr. Biden stated.
Mr. Biden’s private method to Mr. Xi is prone to be a marked shift from that of President Donald J. Trump, who spent his first three years in workplace showering the Chinese chief with reward and flattery in pursuit of a grand commerce deal he by no means achieved, earlier than bitterly turning on him final spring after the coronavirus emerged from China and devastated the U.S. financial system.
All the whereas, Mr. Trump’s advisers handled China because the United States’ prime strategic risk. By the tip of Mr. Trump’s presidency, international coverage specialists typically agreed that relations between Washington and Beijing had been close to their lowest level for the reason that 1949 Communist revolution. But most additionally consider the 2 nations haven’t any alternative however to cooperate on issues resembling commerce, local weather change and world economics.
While Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi established one thing of a rapport throughout the Obama period, Mr. Biden has additionally been sharply vital of his counterpart, who quickly after assuming China’s presidency in 2013 initiated a extreme political clampdown at dwelling and pursued aggressive territorial claims in East Asia.
“He’s very bright,” Mr. Biden advised CBS of Mr. Xi. “He’s very tough. He doesn’t have — and I don’t mean it as a criticism, just the reality — he doesn’t have a democratic, small-D, bone in his body.”
Mr. Biden stated that he and the Chinese president “need not have a conflict,” however warned that “there’s going to be extreme competition.”
“I’m not going to do it the way Trump did,” Mr. Biden added. “We’re going to focus on international rules of the road.”
In a briefing for reporters earlier than the decision, senior Biden administration officers underscored that time. They stated Mr. Biden would proceed among the Trump administration’s confrontational insurance policies towards Beijing, which included contesting Chinese territorial claims in Asia, defending Taiwan’s independence and Hong Kong’s autonomy, and cracking down on China’s cybertheft and hacking. The administration officers stated their method can be simpler than Mr. Trump’s with renewed ties to conventional American allies with whom Mr. Trump usually picked fights.
They stated they’d retain the tariffs Mr. Trump imposed on China’s exports to the United States whereas they performed a broad evaluate of U.S.-China commerce coverage.
The work of competing with Beijing would start at dwelling, the officers stated, with their efforts to defeat the coronavirus and rebuild the U.S. financial system, together with by bolstering next-generation applied sciences like synthetic intelligence and 5G networks, in which China threatens to take a lead.
They additionally known as it essential to revive the United States’ broken political establishments and repute as a defender of human rights and democracy, areas in which Mr. Trump was usually detached.
Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Biden announced sanctions against Myanmar’s ruling generals for his or her function in a navy coup this month, an motion senior officers labeled a transparent demonstration of America’s renewed dedication to democracy overseas — in this case, in China’s yard.
And throughout a day go to to the Pentagon, the president introduced the creation of a Defense Department activity drive to evaluate U.S. navy insurance policies towards China. It will report its findings by summer time.
Perhaps reflecting Mr. Biden’s powerful marketing campaign messaging about China and its management, Mr. Xi was among the many final world leaders to publicly congratulate Mr. Biden on his victory. He was likewise among the many final main leaders to talk to the brand new American president after his election.
That coolness is way from the pleasant tone the lads adopted in their a number of conferences in the United States and China throughout the Obama administration. During a 2013 journey Mr. Biden made to Beijing, Mr. Xi addressed him in the Great Hall of the People as “my old friend.”
Chris Buckley contributed reporting.