US and Chinese leaders spoke for four hours tonight in San Francisco on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. President Joe Biden summed up the result by saying the two would be able to pick up the phone and talk “directly and immediately” in the event of a crisis. However, major differences remain.
“Very nice car,” says Biden, sending off Xi Jinping after their talks in San Francisco, and in turn praises his own, known as “The Beast.” A benevolent atmosphere and only one word – dictator – outside the friendly tone, which did not seem to be able to spoil the general impression of a positive development of American – Chinese relations. At a press conference after the meeting, a reporter asked Biden if he would continue to call the Chinese leader a dictator.
“Look, he’s a dictator in the sense that he’s running a country that’s communist and has a completely different form of government than ours,” he replied.
China’s foreign ministry called the comment a wrong and irresponsible political manipulation. But President Xi Jinping did not comment on the words. He pointed out that the planet is big enough for both countries to prosper.
“China wants to be a partner and friend of the United States. Whatever degree of development is achieved, China will never seek hegemony or expansion, and will never impose its will on others. China does not seek spheres of influence and will not waged neither a hot war nor a cold war against anyone,” says Xi Jinping, China’s president.
The two leaders agreed to resume military communications. They were interrupted after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last year and the case of the alleged Chinese spy balloon in the skies over North America.
On one of the most sensitive and important topics for Beijing – Taiwan – the Chinese president has warned Washington to stop arming Taiwan, and that – in his words – China’s reunification with the island cannot be stopped. The US does not foresee a change in its current policy.
Amid the fight against climate change, the two leaders pledged to step up efforts to reduce carbon emissions and triple renewable energy production by 2030. They will also work collaboratively on the risks associated with artificial intelligence. Beijing has vowed to step up measures to reduce the supply of fentanyl precursors. The deadly synthetic drug kills tens of thousands of Americans annually.
According to observers, even without a real breakthrough, the fact that Xi and Biden spoke face to face on American soil is taken as a positive development.
In the end, Beijing resorted to its favorite panda diplomacy. The Chinese leader has hinted that his country is ready to send pandas to US zoos, which are considered a national treasure and have been used for decades to improve bilateral relations.