Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart, Joe Biden, today in a telephone conversation that the two countries and the world will “suffer” in the event of a confrontation between China and the United States.
“When China and the United States work together, countries and the world benefit, but both countries and the world will suffer if the two countries confront each other,” Xi said, according to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“US policy towards China has caused serious difficulties in the relationship” between the two powers, added the secretary-general of the Chinese Communist Party.
It was the second telephone conversation between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies since Joe Biden took over as president of the United States earlier this year.
In a statement, the White House said the “two leaders had a broad and strategic discussion, in which they addressed areas where interests converge and areas where interests, values , and perspectives diverge.”
The United States has expressed willingness that the two sides can work together on issues of mutual concern, including climate change and the prevention of a nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula, despite growing differences.
The relationship between China and the US has rapidly deteriorated over the past two years, with several simultaneous disputes between the two largest economies in the world, including a protracted trade and technology war and disputes over issues involving human rights, the status of Taiwan and Hong Kong, or the sovereignty of the South China Sea.
Before the telephone conversation, an official of the American executive, quoted by the Associated Press (AP) news agency, said that the White House was not satisfied with the initial contacts with Beijing.
The official, who requested anonymity, said the White House hoped a conversation between the two leaders could be beneficial.
The communiqué issued by Chinese diplomacy highlighted that “both leaders maintained sincere, broad and deep strategic communication, and addressed bilateral relations and outstanding issues of common interest.”
“The international community faces many common problems. China and the US must assume greater responsibilities and continue to look ahead and demonstrate strategic and political value,” added Xi Jinping, according to the same statement.
Xi particularly cited Chinese initiatives to combat climate change, days after the visit to China of the US special envoy for climate, John Kerry.
Xi and Biden “agreed to maintain regular communication through various channels” on climate issues while guiding government officials at different levels and areas to do the same, said the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chinese.
The White House official, quoted by the AP, indicated that Biden had made it clear to Xi that he had no intention of straying from his administration’s policy of pressuring China on human rights, trade, and other areas he believes Beijing is infringing international standards.
High-level contacts between Beijing and Washington have been marred by recriminations.
Last week, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned John Kerry that deteriorating relations between the two countries could undermine climate cooperation.
Wang told Kerry that cooperation cannot be separated from the broader relationship and urged the US to take steps to improve ties.
In July, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman faced a long list of demands and grievances during a visit to China, including accusations that the US is trying to contain and suppress the Asian country’s development.
Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng urged the US to “change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy.”
Since the beginning of the presidency, Biden has favored an alignment with allies to seek a common approach for China. The American leader sees Beijing as the United States’ most significant economic competitor and a growing concern for his country’s security.
Source: with agencies