Chinese President Xi Jinping briefly met with Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday as both nations seek to “keep the lines of communication open.”
The meeting took place on the sidelines of an economic forum in Bangkok at the vice president’s request, China says, just days after President Biden and Xi met in their first in-person meeting since Biden entered the Oval Office.
Details of what the two discussed were minimal, but a White House spokesperson said: “The vice president noted a key message that President Biden emphasized in his November 14 meeting with President Xi: We must maintain open lines of communication. to responsibly manage competition between our countries.”
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According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry reading, the meeting was described as a “success” and Beijing “expects” Harris to play a “positive role” as the US and China seek to ease tensions.
Geopolitical fighting between Washington and Beijing has been high in recent years and the US listed China as its top threat in the latest Pentagon National Defense Strategy in October.
Xi described his meeting with Biden as “strategic and constructive,” saying it “has important significance in guiding China-US relations in the future.”
“He expressed the hope that the two sides will further enhance mutual understanding, reduce misperception and miscalculation, and work together to return China-US relations to the path of healthy and stable development,” he added. the ministry referring to Xi’s conversation with Harris.
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According to the White House on Monday, Biden expressed concern about China’s openly aggressive stance toward Taiwan, saying that “the world has an interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
It is unclear how Xi responded to this direct concern, but on Saturday Taiwan’s defense ministry said its troops were ready in all three air, sea and land theaters after China once again deployed fighter jets and naval vessels that they crossed the island’s air defense identification zone. .