The long-awaited summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in California ended on Wednesday with “real progress”, according to the American president who wants “to ensure that the rivalry does not degenerate into conflict”.
The two men, reconnecting after a silence of a year, spent a total of four hours together, between meetings, working lunch and even a short walk, enough to offer the press an image of calm. The two leaders made “ real progress ” It front of ” World challenges », assured Joe Biden on the social network X (formerly Twitter).
The American president had called, in a short introductory statement to the press at the start of the meeting, to manage the rivalry in a “ responsible “. Xi Jinping, who warned of the consequences “ unbearable » of a confrontation, he estimated, according to an English translation, that China and the United States could not “ to turn your back “.
I’ve just concluded a day of meetings with President Xi, and I believe they were some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.
We built on groundwork laid over the past several months of diplomacy between our countries and made important progress. pic.twitter.com/0RT1q0FZHr
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 16, 2023
“ The planet is big enough for both our countries to prosper “, he assured, while Washington and Beijing are engaged in fierce competition, whether economic, technological, strategic or military. “ Our meetings have always been frank, direct and useful », assured the 80-year-old democrat, who had met Xi Jinping several times before becoming president, and who prides himself on understanding him particularly well. “ I firmly believe in a promising future for the bilateral relationship “, said Xi Jinping, while warning against any temptation for the United States to ” remodel ” China.
No joint statement is expected at the end of the meeting but Joe Biden plans to give more details during a press conference.
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The Taiwanese file
Joe Biden, campaigning for a second term, and Xi Jinping, faced with a degraded economic and social situation in China, ultimately have an interest in keeping the rivalry under control throughout a potentially tumultuous 2024, with elections presidential elections in the United States and Taiwan.
The status of the island, of which Beijing claims sovereignty and to which Washington provides substantial military assistance, remains a central subject of friction. Joe Biden will make it clear (…) that we do not support Taiwan’s independence ” And ” that we do not want the status quo to change unilaterally, and certainly not by force “, indicated a White House spokesperson, John Kirby.
Washington also asks China, a close partner of Iran and Russia, not to aggravate major international crises: the conflict between Israel and Hamas as well as the war in Ukraine.
The American president wants above all to restore military communications, suspended for more than a year. A senior US official indicated that the two leaders could decide on “preliminary steps” in this direction on Wednesday.
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