President Biden and Xi Jinping have met together Monday for the first time in person since Biden took office on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia, with the Chinese leader saying the relationship between the two superpowers has “attracted the world’s attention.”
Xi’s trip to Indonesia is his first in three years and comes as tension between Washington and Beijing mounts following increased Chinese aggression toward Taiwan.
“As leaders of our two nations we share responsibility in my view to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming any bigger than mere conflict and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues require our mutual cooperation,” Biden said.
Biden said the world also expects China and the U.S. to play a key role in tackling challenges such as climate change and food insecurity.
The two leaders were photographed shaking hands.
“The last time we met was in 2017, during the World Economic Forum in Davos that was already more than five years ago,” Xi said, addressing Biden. “Since you assumed the presidency, we have maintained communication via video conferences, phone calls, and letters. But none of them can really substitute for face to face exchanges.”
Xi continued by saying that “History is the best textbook so we should take history as a mirror and let it guide the future.”
“The world has come to a crossroads where to go from here,” he added. “This is a question that is not only on our minds, but also on the mind of all countries. The world expects that China and the United States will properly handle their relationship and for our meeting it has attracted the world’s attention.”
Geopolitical relations between the two superpowers have been strained for years following the COVID-19 pandemic, a trade war and increased pressure from the West placed on Beijing to address gross human rights abuses.
“In our meeting today I’m ready to have a candid and in-depth exchange of views with you on issues of strategic importance in China-US relations and on major global and regional issues,” Xi told Biden. “I look forward to working with you Mr. President to bring China-U.S. relations back to the track of healthy and stable growth to the benefit of our two countries and the world as a whole.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.