On Wednesday, Biden made a phone call to Xi Jinping, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party. According to the White House, the call was placed on Wednesday to celebrate the occasion of Lunar New Year, a major holiday in China.
A readout of the call was provided by presidential staff, and throughout the course of the call, Biden apparently experienced “fundamental concern” regarding the “unfair and coercive economic practices” routinely practiced by Beijing, In addition, the phone call also focused on the Chinese government’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang and its crackdowns in Taiwan.
However, Xi was not amenable to Biden’s commentary, as noted by the state-run propaganda in China, The Global Times. Instead, Xi informed Biden that the United States needs to maintain “respect” for how China handles its domestic affairs.
In addition, Biden also detailed his priorities with Xi, namely those that relate to fighting the COVID pandemic, as well as the global challenges shared by the world in terms of “global health security, climate change, and preventing weapons proliferation.”
The White House confirmed that Biden is willing to work with China, provided that such a collaboration aligns with Americans’ interests.
According to the aforementioned read-out, Biden remains committed to “practical engagements” committed to results, notably when they help advance the causes of the United States and its allies.
Per The Global Times in China, Biden apparently delivered “festive greetings” to China and wished all Chinese people a prosperous, happy new year.
Xi and Biden have long shared a relationship, which dates back to Obama’s administration, where Biden served as the VP.
In an interview with CBS this past Sunday, Biden did acknowledge knowing Xi “pretty well,” adding that the leader is extremely intelligent, but “very tough.”
Biden also added that Xi “doesn’t have a democratic … bone in his body.”
Biden and Xi have a longstanding relationship that began during former President Barack Obama’s administration, when Biden served as Obama’s the vice president.