The president of United States, Joe Biden, spoke on Wednesday with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to which he reproached Beijing’s policy towards Hong Kong, the Xinjiang region, Taiwan and also for its economic practices.
Was the first call between the presidents of the two largest world economies since Biden came to power on January 20.
In a statement, the White House reported that Biden “underscored his concern about the coercive and unfair economic practices of Beijing, the repression in Hong Kong, the human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the increasingly strong actions in the region, including towards Taiwan. “
Biden also conveyed to Xi that his priority is “protect the safety, prosperity, health and lifestyle of the American people”, as well as “preserve free and open” the Indo-Pacific maritime region.
For his part, the Chinese president told Biden that “A confrontation between China and the United States will undoubtedly be a catastrophe for the two countries and for the world.”
Xi noted that “the issues that concern Taiwan, Hong Kong and (China’s northwestern region of) Xinjiang are domestic issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “
“The United States should respect China’s core interests -assured Xi, quoted by the state newspaper Global Times– Y address these issues wisely. “
Likewise, Xi opted for cooperation between the two largest economies on the planet, since it “can bring benefits for both countries and for the world.”
The Chinese leader also called for the reestablishment of dialogue mechanisms between the two countries “to correctly understand each other’s policy intentions and avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations,” according to the state news agency Xinhua.
These exchanges should take place, Xi pointed out, also at the economic, financial and law enforcement levels, as well as between the two armies.
The two leaders also spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic, “the shared challenges of global health security, the climate change and prevention of weapons proliferation“according to the White House.
Biden underscored his willingness to make “practical compromises and in search of results when they advance the interests of the American people and those of the allies” of Washington.
FIRST CALL ON THE EVE OF THE LUNAR NEW YEAR
The telephone conversation – which took place this Wednesday at Washington time but on Thursday at Beijing time – takes place on the lunar New Year’s Eve, the most important holiday for the Chinese, who will enter the Year of the Ox tomorrow, the 12th.
Thus, Biden and Xi also took advantage of the conversation to exchange congratulations for the lunar New Year, and the US president “extended his congratulations to the Chinese people and wished them happiness and good fortune during the new year.”
Relations between Beijing and Washington were damaged after Donald Trump’s four-year stay in the White House, who started a trade war with China in March 2018.
In the following years, clashes were also registered at diplomatic, technological and hegemonic levels, a trend that exacerbated the pandemic, for which Trump repeatedly blamed China.
Additionally, Trump blamed China for the spread of the coronavirus, which he used to call the “Chinese virus,” and the pandemic.
The conflict in Hong Kong and US meddling were also a source of tension between Washington and Beijing during the previous Administration.