Washington, Oct 7 (PTI) US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are scheduled to hold a virtual meeting before the end of the year, a senior administration official of the White House has said.
A decision in this regard was taken during a meeting between US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi in Zurich on Wednesday.
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During the meeting, which lasted for about six hours, Sullivan also raised areas where the United States and China have an interest in working together to address vital transnational challenges, and ways to manage risks in the relationship, the White House said in a readout of the call.
Sullivan raised a number of areas where we have concern with the Chinese actions, including actions related to human rights, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, and Taiwan.
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The decision on virtual summit was taken given that the two leaders are unlikely to be present at the same time for the rest of the year.
“I think all of you will have seen reported that Xi Jinping does not plan to travel to the G20 and in the conversations today we therefore, discussed what might be waiting for the new leaders, to have more substantive engagement given that we don’t expect to hear to be in the in the same place in the near future,” a senior administration official said.
“So, we do have an agreement in principle to hold a virtual bilateral meeting between the leaders before the end of the year,” said the official, noting that the details of the meetings are still being worked out.
According to the senior administration official, the conversation between Sullivan and Yang was candid, direct and wide ranging. “It ran for about six hours,” the official said.
Sullivan raised areas where the US and China have an interest in working together to address vital international challenges.
“The national security advisor was quite clear in that discussion really pointing to climate as a specific example that working together on these issues or figuring out ways that we can align our approaches is not about doing a favour to the United States, not about being transactional, simply about the fact that our two nations have responsibilities, interests, and that we should see where we can align,” said the senior administration official.
“This is not an area where we will accept linkage with parts of the bilateral relationship. And in fact, he made it quite clear that linking bilateral issues with these vital international challenges, something that we just simply don’t see is acceptable and it’s not the framework through which we operate it. We just don’t have that transactional approach and don’t think that it’s healthy for China as well,” the official said.
The two leaders also discussed ways to manage risks in their relationship, and specific ways that they might be able to explore some of that further.
The financial advisor also raised a number of areas where they have concerns with China. This includes actions related to human rights, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and South China Sea.
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