China's readout of Xi-Biden video call
News of the Day
The news of Friday night (in China):
President Xi Jinping Has a Video Call with US President Joe Biden
On the evening of 18 March, President Xi Jinping had a video call with US President Joe Biden at the request of the latter. The two Presidents had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on China-US relations, the situation in Ukraine, and other issues of mutual interest.
President Biden said that 50 years ago, the US and China made the important choice of issuing the Shanghai Communiqué. Fifty years on, the US-China relationshiphas once again come to a critical time. How this relationship develops will shape the world in the 21st century. Biden reiterated that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China; it does not aim to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; the US does not support “Taiwan independence”; and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. The US is ready to have candid dialogue and closer cooperation with China, stay committed to the one-China policy, and effectively manage competition and disagreements to ensure the steady growth of the relationship. President Biden expressed readiness to stay in close touch with President Xi to set the direction for the US-China relationship.
President Xi noted the new major developments in the international landscape since their first virtual meeting last November. The prevailing trend of peace and development is facing serious challenges. The world is neither tranquil nor stable. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and the world’s two leading economies, China and the US must not only guide their relations forward along the right track, but also shoulder their share of international responsibilities and work for world peace and tranquility.
President Xi stressed that he and President Biden share the view that China and the US need to respect each other, coexist in peace and avoid confrontation, and that the two sides should increase communication and dialogue at all levels and in all fields. President Biden has just reiterated that the US does not seek to have a new Cold War with China, to change China’s system, or to revitalize alliances against China, and that the US does not support “Taiwan independence” or intend to seek a conflict with China. “I take these remarks very seriously,” said President Xi.
President Xi pointed out that the China-US relationship, instead of getting out of the predicament created by the previous US administration, has encountered a growing number of challenges. What’s worth noting in particular is that some people in the US have sent a wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces. This is very dangerous. Mishandling of the Taiwan question will have a disruptive impact on the bilateral ties. China hopes that the US will give due attention to this issue.The direct cause for the current situation in the China-US relationship is that some people on the US side have not followed through on the important common understanding reached by the two Presidents and have not acted on President Biden’s positive statements. The US has misperceived and miscalculated China’s strategic intention.
President Xi underscored that there have been and will continue to be differences between China and the US. What matters is to keep such differences under control. A steadily growing relationship is in the interest of both sides.
The two sides exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine.
President Biden expounded on the US position, and expressed readiness for communication with China to prevent the situation from exacerbating.
President Xi pointed out that China does not want to see the situation in Ukraine to come to this. China stands for peace and opposes war. This is embedded in China’s history and culture. China makes a conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter. China advocates upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations. China adheres to the UN Charter and promotes the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These are the major principles that underpin China’s approach to the Ukraine crisis. China has put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and is ready to provide further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other affected countries. All sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace. The US and NATO should also have dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.
President Xi stressed that with the need to fight COVID-19 on the one hand and protect the economy and people’s livelihood on the other, things are already very difficult for countries around the world. As leaders of major countries, we need to think about how to properly address global hotspot issues and, more importantly,keep in mind global stability and the work and life of billions of people. Sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions would only make the people suffer. If further escalated, they could trigger serious crises in global economy and trade, finance, energy, food, and industrial and supply chains, crippling the already languishing world economy and causing irrevocable losses. The more complex the situation, the greater the need to remain cool-headed and rational. Whatever the circumstances, there is always a needfor political courage to create space for peace and leave room for political settlement. As two Chinese sayings go, “It takes two hands to clap.” “He who tied the bell to the tiger must take it off.” It is imperative that the parties involved demonstrate political will and find a proper settlement in view of both immediate and long-term needs. Other parties can and should create conditions to that end. The pressing priority is to keep the dialogue and negotiation going, avoid civilian casualties, prevent a humanitarian crisis, and cease hostilities as soon as possible. An enduring solution would be for major countries to respect each other, reject the Cold War mentality, refrain from bloc confrontation, and build step by step a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture for the region and for the world. China has been doing its best for peace and will continue to play a constructive role.
The two Presidents agreed that the video call is constructive. They directed their teams to promptly follow up and take concrete actions to put China-US relations back on the track of steady development, and make respective efforts for the proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
Ding Xuexiang, Liu He and Wang Yi were present at the call. (End)
sourced from the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s official website
sourced from the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s official website
Beijing took the unusual step of releasing part [Chinese] [English] of its readout when the video meeting was still ongoing (at around 22:07 GMT+8). Beijing later said the meeting ended at 22:52 GMT+8.
On the evening of 18 March, President Xi Jinping is having a video call with US President Joe Biden at the request of the latter.
President Xi noted the new major developments in the international landscape since their first virtual meeting last November. The prevailing trend of peace and development is facing serious challenges. The world is neither tranquil nor stable. The Ukraine crisis is not something we want to see. The events again show that countries should not come to the point of meeting on the battlefield. Conflict and confrontation are not in anyone’s interest, and peace and security are what the international communityshould treasure the most. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and the world’s two leading economies,wemust not only guide the China-US relations forward along the right track, but also shoulder our share of international responsibilities and work for world peace and tranquility.
Shen Yi, of Fudan University, at that time, commented on Weibo that
领导人通话内容要点几乎同步发布。极为罕见。结合此前匿名官员在会谈前表态，中方对美方操弄信息做法极为不满。 Some main points of the leaders' video call were released almost simultaneously. It is extremely rare. Combined with earlier statements by an anonymous official before the talk, China is extremely dissatisfied with the U.S. side's manipulation of information.
What Shen was referring to was apparently the Global Times’ exclusive report [Chinese] [English] quoting an anonymous Chinese official hours before the video meeting:
Not surprisingly, before the phone talk, some US officials have intensively made irresponsible remarks and spread disinformation to smear China and pressure it over the Ukraine issue. Such deeds have become “common practices” of the US before high-level interactions, which are irresponsible and immoral, said the official.
China will never accept US threats and coercion, and if the US takes measures that harm China's legitimate interests and the interests of Chinese enterprises and individuals, China will not sit idly by and will make a strong response, the official stressed, noting the US should not have any illusions or miscalculations about this.
The anonymous Chinese official was apparently responding to remarks such as those by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken to the press on Saturday, March 17, where he said
We believe China in particular has a responsibility to use its influence with President Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support.
Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter – and we’re concerned that they are considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.
President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs.
Shortly before the Global Times’ exclusive report [Chinese] [English], Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson already said pretty the same in the Regular Press Conference on Friday, March 18, 2022
Some people on the US side keep spreading false information and smearing and pressuring China. Such practices are extremely irresponsible and do not help to solve the problem. China firmly opposes this and will never accept it. What the US should do is to seriously reflect on its role in the Ukraine crisis and the part it has played, effectively assume its due responsibilities, and take practical actions to ease the situation and solve the problem, instead of continuing to add fuel to the fire and shifting problems.
Regarding your question on the talk between the Chinese and US leaders, the heads of states are in communication in various forms. As for the upcoming one, I believe you have read China’s press release. Chinese President Xi Jinping will exchange views with US President Joe Biden upon invitation on China-US relations and issues of common concern.
As for the specifics about this exchange, we suggest you follow the information to be released in due course.