Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden on November 15 had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on strategic and overarching issues critical to the direction of China-U.S. relations and on major issues affecting world peace and development.
Jon Taylor, Chair of the Political Science and Geography Department at the University of Texas in San Antonio, shared his thoughts with Beijing Review right after the meeting. Edited excerpts of his comments follow:
The goal of the meeting was to talk and to agree to talk more. They definitely accomplished that goal. There were, as expected, differences of opinion on a range of issues. What was hopeful was that both Xi and Biden noted the need for candid conversations.
It was notable that Xi observed that dialogue was needed between China and the U.S. since “turning our backs on each other is not realistic.”
Xi’s response to Biden’s comments on managed competition also stood out. Observing that there are inherent differences between China and the U.S., Xi’s comments that it was not practical “for one side to try to shape the other” and that “Planet Earth is big enough for both countries to succeed” set the stage to foster improved relations.
I’m pleased to see a resumption of military-to-military communications as well as the pre-meeting agreements on climate change, fentanyl and soybeans. These are genuinely important measures that wouldn't have occurred without a Xi-Biden meeting. It’s also important that the two leaders discussed the potential risks from artificial intelligence.
On a personal note, I’m very pleased that Xi discussed the need to increase direct flights, advance tourism cooperation, expand subnational exchanges, strengthen educational cooperation, and encourage and support greater interactions and communication between their people. These are steps that will go a long way in improving China-U.S. relations.
Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon
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