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Biden and Xi want to resume military communications

Biden and Xi want to resume military communications

As of: November 16, 2023 8:29 am

US and China are getting closer to each other: US President Biden and his counterpart Xi take a lot of time during their meeting. Big contentious issues can't be resolved, but people want to talk to each other again – including at the military level.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to resume communications between their countries' militaries. After a meeting between the two leaders in Woodside, near San Francisco, Biden said resuming contact was “of critical importance.” Chinese state media said the military-to-military contacts were initiated “on the basis of equality and respect”.

Without communication, accidents and misunderstandings can occur, Biden explained. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin plans to meet with his Chinese counterpart, according to media reports from the White House.

There should also be operational discussions between the top military leaders of the two countries. It said the US commander of the Pacific Air Force would also participate. Shipmasters should also exchange ideas with each other.

Call each other directly in the future

Biden described the talks as “constructive” and “productive.” “I just finished a meeting with President Xi that lasted several hours and I believe these were the most constructive and fruitful discussions we have ever had,” the US president told a press conference.

He and Xi also agreed to call each other directly in case of crises between the two countries. “They agreed that everybody can pick up the phone and call the other person directly and ask immediately,” Biden said. “We will maintain a high level of diplomacy (…) to keep the lines of communication open,” he stressed.

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While he disagreed with Xi on many issues, Biden explained that Xi was “just honest” with him during the talks. He still sees Xi as a dictator, he said, “in the sense that he's running a communist country based on a completely different government than ours.”

The Taiwan issue

Xi demanded at the meeting to “stop arming Taiwan and support China's peaceful reunification,” according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. China will implement reunification, which is “unstoppable,” Xi said. He also assured Biden that China was not trying to “outpace or displace the United States” and insisted that the United States, for its part, should not try to subdue China.

According to state news agency Xinhua, it was agreed to start government talks on the use of artificial intelligence and to create a task force to cooperate on fighting narcotics. Scheduled air traffic between the two countries should also be intensified.

“There is no desire to turn away from each other”

At the start of the meeting, Biden called for responsible management of relations between the United States and China. The competition between the two countries should not turn into a conflict. Xi spoke of “the world's most important bilateral relationship” and said he and Biden share a great responsibility for both peoples, the world and history. “For two big countries like China and the US, turning away from each other is not an option,” Xi said. “It is unrealistic for one side to replace the other, and confrontation and confrontation have intolerable consequences for both sides.”

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First meeting in over a year

The relationship between the US and China has long been very tense. Biden and Xi have not seen or spoken to each other since the November 2022 G20 summit in Bali. There have been various meetings and discussions between high-level government representatives from both sides in recent months, but no direct exchanges between the two presidents.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. However, Biden received G in a quiet location 45 kilometers from San Francisco.

Nils Dampz, ARD Los Angeles, tagesschau, November 16, 2023 6:31 am