Biden called his discussion with Xi “candid and constructive” and said he emphasized to his Chinese counterpart that the “United States does not seek conflict.”
Washington: President Joe Biden said the world expects the US and China to better manage their competition, making the case for sustained US involvement in the Asia-Pacific region, a day after his high-profile meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Biden reassured Asia-Pacific economies of American commitment at a summit in San Francisco Thursday, and said his talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping would provide stability for the region and the whole world. Biden called his discussion with Xi “candid and constructive” and said he emphasized to his Chinese counterpart that the “United States does not seek conflict.”
“We’re not going anywhere,” AFP quoted Biden as saying at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) group, which includes 21 members but lives under the shadow of US-China relations.
“I said it’s because we’re a Pacific nation. Because of us there’s been peace and security in the region, allowing you to grow. He didn’t disagree,” said Biden.
Biden and Xi met on Wednesday and announced the resumption of military-to-military communications and agreements to jointly combat fentanyl trafficking. After their meeting, Xi addressed another gathering of business executives at a dinner, where he told US attendees including Apple Inc. chief executive Tim Cook, BlackRock Inc.’s Larry Fink and Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Inc. that China hoped to be “a partner and a friend.”
“I met with Xi yesterday, leader to leader, to make sure there’s no miscommunication between us. As always, I’ve met with them more than any other world leader because when I was vice president, it was concluded that I should get to know him. It was inappropriate for the president of the United States to be meeting with the vice president,” he said.
Biden said the talks over the next two days would focus on issues including artificial intelligence, climate resilience and supply chains, adding that the “challenges before us today are unlike those faced by previous groups of APEC leaders.”
The US president also used the forum to push the importance of workers’ rights, dovetailing with his domestic support of unions amid a string of high-profile strikes in the automobile, healthcare, and entertainment industries.
Biden said the administration was committed to securing protections for workers in any trade deal.
“We have upheld our commitment to unions,” Biden said. “Each of the framework pillars includes strong pro labor outcomes.”