President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met together Monday for the first time in person since Biden took office on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia, with Biden raising concerns about Beijing’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan,” among other areas of tension, the White House says.
Xi’s visit to Indonesia is his first foreign trip in three years. In a readout of the meeting, the White House said Biden expressed “concerns about PRC practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and human rights more broadly.
“On Taiwan, he laid out in detail that our one China policy has not changed, the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and the world has an interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the White House said. “He raised U.S. objections to the PRC’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan, which undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the broader region, and jeopardize global prosperity.”
Biden “again underscored that it is a priority for us to resolve the cases of American citizens who are wrongfully detained or subject to exit bans in China,” it added.
Biden also brought up the topic of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the White House.
“President Biden raised Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and Russia’s irresponsible threats of nuclear use,” it said. “President Biden and President Xi reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won and underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.”
Biden, speaking to Xi Monday on camera, said the world expects China and the U.S. to play a key role in tackling challenges such as climate change and food insecurity.
“As leaders of our two nations we share responsibility in my view to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming any bigger than mere conflict and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues require our mutual cooperation,” Biden said.
The two leaders were photographed shaking hands.
“The last time we met was in 2017, during the World Economic Forum in Davos that was already more than five years ago,” Xi said, addressing Biden. “Since you assumed the presidency, we have maintained communication via video conferences, phone calls, and letters. But none of them can really substitute for face to face exchanges.”
Xi continued by saying that “History is the best textbook so we should take history as a mirror and let it guide the future.”
“The world has come to a crossroads where to go from here,” he added. “This is a question that is not only on our minds, but also on the mind of all countries. The world expects that China and the United States will properly handle their relationship and for our meeting it has attracted the world’s attention.”
Geopolitical relations between the two superpowers have been strained for years following the COVID-19 pandemic, a trade war and increased pressure from the West placed on Beijing to address gross human rights abuses.
“In our meeting today I’m ready to have a candid and in-depth exchange of views with you on issues of strategic importance in China-US relations and on major global and regional issues,” Xi told Biden. “I look forward to working with you Mr. President to bring China-U.S. relations back to the track of healthy and stable growth to the benefit of our two countries and the world as a whole.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.