n the US’s invitation, Chinese President Xi Jinping held a video call with the US President Joe Biden on March 18.
According to China’s State-run media Xinhua News Agency, the two presidents “had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on China-US relations, the situation in Ukraine, and other issues of mutual interest.”
Biden reiterated the US’s commitment that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China, it does not aim to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; the US does not support “Taiwan independence”; and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China.
Xi said that the China-US relationship has not yet got out of the predicament created by the previous US administration but rather encountered a growing number of challenges. Mishandling of the Taiwan question will have a disruptive impact on the bilateral ties, Xi said.
Xi noted that the direct cause for the current situation in the China-US relationship is that some people on the US side have not followed through on the important common understanding reached by the two presidents and have not acted on President Biden’s positive statements. The US has misperceived and miscalculated China’s strategic intention, Xi said.
Xi pointed out that there have been and will continue to be differences between China and the US. “What matters is to keep such differences under control,” he said.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, Xi emphasized that China “stands for peace and opposes war.” Xi said China makes a conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter, advocates upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations, and adheres to the UN Charter and promotes the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These are the major principles that underpin China’s approach to the Ukraine crisis, Xi said.
Xi noted that China is ready to provide further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other affected countries. On March 7, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared a six-point initiative to prevent a massive humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
“All sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace,” Xi said, adding that the US and NATO should also have dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine. He stressed that sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions would only make the people suffer and if further escalated, they could cripple the already languishing world economy and causing irrevocable losses.
He said an enduring solution would be for major countries to respect each other, reject the Cold War mentality, refrain from bloc confrontation, and build step by step a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture for the region and for the world.
In the readout of the talk, the White House revealed that Biden outlined the views of the US and its allies and partners on the Ukraine crisis. President Biden “underscored his support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis” and the two leaders have “agreed on the importance of maintaining open lines of communication, to manage the competition between two countries.”
Both White House readout and Xinhua report confirmed that the two presidents have directed their teams to follow up on the conversation.