President Joe Biden addressed human rights concerns about Beijing’s activities in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong during his first in-person meeting with President Xi Jinping on Monday, according to the White House.
He objected to China’s “coercive and more hostile moves” toward Taiwan.
The meeting took place as the superpowers sought to “manage” differences as they competed for global influence amid rising economic and security tensions, according to a statement on the roughly three-hour session from the White House.
Biden reportedly told Xi that the U.S. would “continue to compete vigorously” with China but that “competition should not veer into conflict.”
Biden organized a news conference for later on Monday to discuss the encounter, which took place in the middle of a seven-day tour around the globe.
Additionally, according to the White House, Biden and Xi “underlined their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine” and concurred that “a nuclear war should never be fought” and cannot be won.
That alluded to the veiled nuclear threats made by Russian leaders as their nearly nine-month invasion of Ukraine failed.
Additionally, Biden and Xi decided to “empower key senior officials” in areas where they may work together, like combating climate change and preserving the stability of the world’s economy, food supply, and health.
It was unclear immediately if that meant China would consent to resume the climate change negotiations that Beijing had paused.
At a five-star resort hotel in Indonesia, where they are both attending the Group of 20 summits of significant economies, Xi and Biden shook hands to greet one another.
Biden opened the meeting by saying, “I believe that as the leaders of our two countries, we share a responsibility to demonstrate that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from ever approaching conflict, and find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our cooperation.
Biden was urged by Xi to “set the proper road” and improve ties between China and the U.S.
He declared that he and Biden were prepared for a “candid and in-depth exchange of opinions.”