At the G20 summit on Monday, President Biden of the United States of America and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met face-to-face in Bali, Indonesia for the first time since the former became the US president in 2021. This is amidst the tensions that have slumped the ties between China and the US to their lowest level in many years. 

Here are the key takeaways from this meeting 

Their Opening Remarks 
In the opening statements made by the two world leaders, they expressed gladness in meeting again following their relationship that blossomed during their time as vice presidents over a decade ago. Both leaders also expressed interest in continuing an opening channel of communication as a pathway to rekindling relations. Analysts across the world have opined that these are early days towards improving political relations between both countries. And the future would unveil much more. 

  • The State Department yesterday confirmed that the Secretary of State Antony Blinken would pay a courtesy visit to China in 2023 to follow up on the Xi-Biden meeting.

The most pressing danger, according to many observers, is the possibility of a war over Taiwan. While the United States has reiterated support for the island and pledged to help defend in times of war, China still views Taiwan as part of its territory and isn’t ruling out the use of force to reclaim it. Neither of the world leaders in the meeting made any new comments on the differences in opinions.

  • While the US President stated that “we are committed to maintaining the peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits,” Chinese news agencies claim that Xi views Taiwan as “the very core of China’s main interests”.

Climate change 
One of the major global challenges in which both the US and China play a key non-controversial role is in addressing climate change. Before the escalated dispute over Taiwan, both countries had made progress in steering the world to meet UN global warming reduction targets. 

  • Biden talked of working “together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation” while Xi declared that “humanity is confronted with unprecedented challenges. And that “the world expects China and the US to properly handle our relationships”.

No Cold War 
Judging by the leader’s address, both countries seem not to be interested in engaging in an all-or-nothing conflict. According to reports, both Xi and Biden believe that their countries “share more, not less, common interests.” Xi is also believed to have said that Beijing does not seek to challenge the United States or “change the existing international order”. 

  • The Bali talks revealed that both Biden and Xi agreed that one area which they both frown at is Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine. In a readout, the US says “both countries underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.” 
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