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Biden Meets Chinese Premier on G20 Sidelines

10 September 2023 23:29 (UTC+04:00)
Biden Meets Chinese Premier on G20 Sidelines

U.S. President Joe Biden said Sunday he still intends to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a 10-month gap in communication, while saying that he had met with Xi’s deputy in New Delhi earlier in the day.

“My team, my staff, still meets with President Xi’s cabinet,” he said at a news conference in Hanoi in response to a question from VOA. “In fact, I met with his No. 2 person … in India today.”

“It’s not like there’s a crisis if I don’t personally speak” with Xi, who skipped the G-20 meeting of world leaders in India. “It would be better if I did. I hope to get to see him again soon.”

On the meeting with Premier Li Qiang, he added: “It wasn’t confrontational at all,” adding they talked about stability and making sure the developing world “had access to change.”

But Biden noted Xi “has his hands full right now. He has overwhelming unemployment with youths” and said a major sector of the Chinese economy, real estate, is faltering.

“I don’t want to contain” Chinese economic growth, Biden said. “I want to see China succeed, “but according to the rules” of international norms.

The U.S. leader said the Chinese economy, second in the world behind the United States, has struggled because of a lack of international growth, but didn't see it as leading to armed conflict over Taiwan, the self-governed territory that China claims as part of Beijing’s domain.

"I don't think this is going to cause China to invade Taiwan," Biden said. "As a matter of fact, the opposite, probably doesn’t have the same capacity that it had before."
Several Biden Cabinet members have traveled recently to Beijing to meet with their counterparts. But the two countries have lately had a contentious relationship over trade, naval patrols near Taiwan and a spy balloon that China sent over the United States earlier this year.

Biden ordered the balloon shot down over the Atlantic Ocean as it reached the U.S. eastern seaboard but not before it lingered over sensitive U.S. military installations as it crossed the entirety of the United States. In addition, China hacked the emails of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo before her recent trip to Beijing.

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