President Xi Jinping of China and his U.S. counterpart President Joe Biden held their first in-person talks on Monday, November 14th, 2022, in Bali, Indonesia. The purpose of the discussions is to manage the differences between the superpowers.
Through the talks that lasted three hours, the presidents took a small yet significant step towards stabilizing their increasingly fraught relationship. After the meeting, Biden informed reporters that he and Xi were blunt with each other on various topics they disagreed with. However, the U.S. president said they had agreed to hold more discussions with key officials. He also said that Anthony Blinken, the Secretary of State, would visit China early in 2023.
The U.S. president also said that as leaders, he and Xi shared a responsibility to show that the two countries could manage their differences, prevent competition from turning anywhere close to a conflict and find ways of working together on global problems requiring cooperation.
President Biden said that he believed China and the United States had significant roles to play in addressing global challenges like food insecurity and climate change, among others, and that the countries should work together. He declared that the U.S.A. was ready to work with the Chinese government if desired.
President Xi stated that he had maintained communication with the U.S. president through phone calls, video conferences, and letters, but these communication methods could not substitute in-person meetings. He said that the U.S.A. and China have gone through over 50 eventful years. They had learned their lessons and gained experience. He added that history is the best textbook, and the two countries should consider it a mirror and allow it to guide the future.
President Xi said the current US-China relationship was not what the international community expected. He said that as the leaders of two major nations, they must chart the right course for the relationship between the countries. They need to find the proper direction for the US-China relationship in the coming days and elevate it.
Hua Chunying, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, also attended the meeting. She wrote on Twitter that President Biden and Xi instructed their teams to follow up and implement the common understandings reached immediately. She also said that the presidents want their teams to restore US-China relations towards steady development.