San Francisco, US, Nov 15 (EFE) – The president of the United States, Joe Biden, and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, reaffirmed on Wednesday their desire to have a “frank understanding” at the start of their meeting near San Francisco.
Biden was the first to intervene to welcome Xi, on his first trip to the United States since 2017.
The Chinese leader attended the meeting accompanied by members of his government, who sat at a rectangular table in front of the US delegation.
“We’ve known each other for a long time. We haven’t always agreed, which is not a surprise to anyone, but our meetings have always been candid, straightforward and useful,” Biden said.
“It is paramount that you and I understand each other clearly, leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication. We have to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict, and we also have to manage it responsibly,” The US president added.
The meeting, which comes a day before the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, is the first in a year between the two leaders after they held a three-hour encounter in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the G20 in November.
The two leaders have not had any formal communication, not even a phone call, since Bali.
Given this situation, Biden took the opportunity to emphasize that it is crucial that he and Xi have “no substitute” for leader-to-leader communication to avoid misunderstandings.
In response, Xi expressed his desire to have an “in-depth exchange of views” with Biden and believed there was enough room in the world for the two powers.
“For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option,” Xi said.
“Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed, and one country’s success is an opportunity for the other,” he added.
In addition, Xi emphasized China’s view that competition between Washington and Beijing is not useful in addressing the current challenges facing the world, and stressed that the two countries must work together.
Neither side is expecting any major agreements, but they have made it clear that their goal is to reopen lines of communication in various areas to prevent competition between the two powers from leading to open conflict.
The meeting will take place in a mansion known as “Filoli,” which served as the setting for the popular television series “Dinasty” and is located in the town of Woodside, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from downtown San Francisco.
Afterwards, each party is expected to release its own statement with the conclusions and Biden plans to give a press conference. EFE