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Biden, Xi discussions span Middle East while “Taiwan Independence” stirs concern

US President Joe Biden held discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping on critical issues at a US-China summit on Wednesday (local time), with a senior US official noting that Biden had emphasized the Middle East, CNN reported.

Xi told Biden that the United States should “take real steps to live up to its commitment not to support ‘Taiwan independence,'” according to Chinese state media.

“China will eventually achieve reunification and will inevitably achieve reunification,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in the report.
As the conversation delved into Taiwan, Xi expressed concern that the island is the most significant and dangerous issue in US-China relations. He outlined China’s preference for peaceful reunification and the conditions under which force could be used. Biden reiterated the US commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the region.

“President Xi responded, ‘Look, peace is fine, but at some point we have to move towards a more general solution,'” CNN quoted the US official as saying.
Regarding Taiwan’s upcoming vote in January, the US has asked that China respect the island’s electoral process. Despite lingering concerns about a significant Chinese military build-up around Taiwan, officials came away from the meeting with the impression that Xi was not preparing for a massive invasion.

During the talks, Biden also urged Xi to use China’s influence over Iran to prevent further escalation, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said they had already engaged in discussions with the Iranians on the matter.
The degree to which Iran took the Chinese message seriously left Biden aides uncertain after the meeting. According to CNN, Biden clarified his view that Hamas should be considered separately from the broader Palestinian issue.

During the dialogue, the US official said that Xi Jinping “revealed quite clearly a deep knowledge of some of the debates about China in the United States, and I think in some ways he is quite sensitive to those discussions.”
After the summit, a senior US official told CNN that Biden and Xi had agreed to address fentanyl production and restore military communications.

The results, while considered progress, fell short of a joint statement or formal declaration of cooperation. China has vowed to target companies making chemical precursors to fentanyl, a powerful narcotic contributing to America’s drug crisis. As CNN reported, the US will closely monitor China’s compliance with these commitments.
Xi also agreed to mechanisms to deal with potential military recalculations and created forums for both sides to air their concerns. Restoring military-to-military communications has been a major point of emphasis for the US, with Biden and top advisers consistently highlighting it in talks with their Chinese counterparts.

Despite the problems, the summit ended on a positive note, with Biden saying the talks went well and seeing “real progress” on social media after walking with Xi around the historic estate south of San Francisco, CNN reported.

Image Source: ANI News

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