US President Biden: Competition with China must not turn into conflict – politics

At their first online summit, US President Joe Biden and China’s head of state and party Xi Jinping warned of a confrontation between the world’s two largest economies. It is their responsibility to “ensure that competition between our countries does not degenerate into conflict, whether intentional or unintentional,” said Biden. The White House said the US President had also made it clear “that American workers and industries must be protected from the unfair trade and economic practices of the People’s Republic of China.”

The US President spoke out in favor of “guard rails of common sense”. Both sides would have to honestly say “where we disagree and work together where our interests overlap, especially on important global issues such as climate change”. For both countries it is a matter of assuming responsible leadership roles in the world.

The White House said that Biden had also raised the human rights situation in China and expressed concern about the treatment of the Uighur minority in Xinjiang, the suppression of the democracy movement in Hong Kong, the crackdown in Tibet and human rights in China in general.

Biden emphasized that the US continues to feel committed to its one-China policy, according to which Beijing is seen as the legitimate representative of China. He reiterated that the US firmly opposed “unilateral efforts” to change the status quo in Taiwan or to undermine cross-strait peace and stability. With this, Biden was referring to the threats made by the communist leadership to conquer Taiwan for “reunification”. Beijing regards Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic, while the island republic of 23 million people regards itself as independent.

Xi: “Gigantic ships” shouldn’t go off course

According to state media, Xi said China and the US should respect each other, coexist peacefully and cooperate. Both countries should also live up to their international responsibilities. Both sides would have to deal constructively with their differences. “Of course, China has to protect its own sovereignty, security and development interests,” Xi emphasized. The US should handle this carefully. China’s president compared both powers with two ocean liners: “We have to stabilize the rudder so that the two gigantic ships China and the USA can move forward against wind and waves without deviating from course, stalling or colliding.”

Biden and Xi spoke amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington. The relationship between the two great powers is more strained than ever since diplomatic relations were established in 1979. Both see themselves as competitors. The two presidents had spoken on the phone twice since Biden took office in January – the last time in September.

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