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Iran Press TV

China-US conflict would be 'disaster:' Xi tells Biden in first call

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 11 February 2021 9:13 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told US President Joe Biden that a confrontation between China and the United States would be a "disaster" and that the two countries should resolve matters between them peacefully.

President Xi made the remarks in his first telephone conversation with President Biden on Thursday.

The Chinese president said cooperation between Beijing and Washington was the "only choice," and the two countries needed to properly manage disputes in a "constructive" manner.

"China-US confrontation will definitely be a disaster for both countries and the world," Xi said. "The two countries should work together, meet each other half way... focus on cooperation, manage differences, and promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations."

The administration of former US president Donald Trump raised tensions with China to very high levels by first engaging in a trade war on the country. Later, the Trump administration clashed with China over territorial claims in the South and East China Seas, protests in Hong Kong, attempted secession in Taiwan, alleged rights violations in China's Xinjiang, and the coronavirus pandemic.

President Xi told the new US president that the two sides would sometimes have different views but "the key is to respect each other, treat each other as equals, and properly manage and handle them in a constructive manner."

The Chinese leader said Washington and Beijing should re-establish various mechanisms for dialog in order to understand each others' intentions and avoid misunderstandings.

Xi also said that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang were China's internal affairs and the US should "respect China's core interests and act cautiously."

Biden was quoted by China's Xinhua News Agency as saying that the US was prepared to have candid and constructive dialog with China based on mutual respect and to promote mutual understanding by avoiding miscommunication and miscalculation.

The new US president also said that Washington and Beijing had to refrain from conflict and that they might work together on the coronavirus pandemic and other issues, including climate change, the shared challenges of global health security, and preventing weapons proliferation.

Biden was, however, said to have repeated assertions about "coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region."

Chinese officials have expressed cautious optimism that the relations between China and the US could improve under Biden. But he has shown little sign of seeking to change course with China swiftly. He has described China as Washington's "most serious competitor," and said the US would continue to confront what he called China's "attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance."

Pentagon group to evaluate US strategy toward China

In a related development on Wednesday, the new US president ordered the Pentagon to form a special task force to review Washington's military policy toward China.

Speaking during a visit to the Pentagon, Biden said the US needed to meet what he called the growing challenges posed by Beijing in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere across the world, adding that the Pentagon review had to be backed by both political parties and Congress.

The new task force, comprised of approximately 15 experts, was reported to have a broad portfolio, including of defense strategy, Chinese technology and intelligence, and US alliances and partnerships in Asia.



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