Politics

Biden Assures Xi Jinping He Opposes ‘Decoupling,’ Wants ‘China to Succeed’

President Joe Biden held a phone call on Tuesday with China’s genocidal dictator Xi Jinping in which the American leftist leader reportedly emphasized his distaste for a “new Cold War” or “conflict” with the Chinese Communist Party and assured Xi he would not pursue economic “decoupling.”

Those details appeared in the flagship Chinese news outlet Xinhua, which paraphrased Xi’s remarks as berating Biden to deny the existence of the nation of Taiwan, reject pressure to limit China’s malignant influence in the United States, and endeavor to “coexist in peace.”

Xinhua’s description of the phone call, the first communication between the two heads of state since their in-person meeting in California in November, differed significantly from the White House readout of the conversation. The White House emphasized that the two allegedly discussed “climate change” and risks in advanced tecnologies, as well as improving “military-to-military communication.”

The state media outlet described Xi as emphasizing the importance of Biden supporting China’s false claims to ownership of Taiwan, calling the rejection of Taiwan’s independence “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations.” Xi also reportedly demanded that “China and the United States should not cut off their ties or turn their back on each other, still less slide into conflict or confrontation.

“The two countries should respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation,” the dictator reportedly said, adding that “stability must be prioritized.”

US President Joe Biden greets Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ week in Woodside, California on November 15, 2023. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Xinhua reported that Biden used the call to ensure Xi that he would not challenge the Chinese Communist Party on the world stage.

“President Biden reiterated that the United States does not seek a new Cold War, its objective is not to change China’s system, its alliances are not targeted against China,” Xinhua claimed, “the U.S. does not support ‘Taiwan independence,’ and the U.S. does not seek conflict with China.”

“The U.S. does not want to curtail China’s development, and does not seek ‘decoupling’ from China,” it paraphrased Biden as saying.

In contrast, the White House readout credited Biden with having “raised continued concerns about the PRC’s [China’s] unfair trade policies and non-market economic practices, which harm American workers and families.”

“The President emphasized that the United States will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment,” the White House claimed.

Among the topics Biden’s office highlighted in the conversation were “counternarcotics cooperation, ongoing military-to-military communication, talks to address AI-related risks, and continuing efforts on climate change and people-to-people exchanges.”

Both sides agreed that the two discussed visits by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to China in the near future.

Bizarrely, Xinhua claimed that Xi and Biden discussed “human rights,” while the White House omitted any mention of the topic. China is one of the world’s most prolific human rights abusers, currently engaging in a years-long campaign of genocide against the Uyghur and other Turkic indigenous ethnic groups of occupied East Turkistan. The Chinese Communist Party is also implementing ethnic cleansing campaigns in Tibet and Inner Mongolia, as well as violently repressing Christian and Falun Gong populations nationwide.

Anti-communist dissidents – or anyone seen as disagreeing with Xi in any way, sometimes including self-described Maoists – routinely disappear into China’s nebulous legal system on vague charges for crimes such as “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

“President Xi stated China’s position on Hong Kong-related issues, human rights, the South China Sea, and other issues,” Xinhua reported.

Biden’s presidency has been marked by a reluctance to challenge China on its rampant human rights atrocities, most prominently the Uyghur genocide. In February 2021, less than a month after taking office, Biden said at a CNN Town Hall that the genocide was a product of China feeling “victimized by the outer world when they haven’t ben unified at home.”

“It’s vastly overstated, but the center of principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China,” Biden claimed in response to a question about the genocide. “And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”

Biden went on to add that he would address the abuses in conversations with Xi, but only because “no American president can be sustained as a president if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States.”

“So, the idea that I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in Western Mountains of China, and Taiwan, trying to end the one-China policy by making it forceful,” Biden concluded, “I said, and he gets it, culturally there are different norms in each country, and their leaders are expected to follow.”

A senior administration official told reporters on a press call prior to Biden’s conversation with Xi that reporters should “expect the President will again raise concerns regarding the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and PRC human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang and Tibet.”

“I also expect the President will repeat his call for China to release U.S. citizens wrongfully detained or under exit bans,” the unnamed official said.

The official described the phone call on Tuesday as routine maintenance in the bilateral relationship, a necessary “check-in” to prevent a deterioration in bilateral ties. The call was also billed as a follow-up to the last conversation the two leaders had during Xi’s visit to California in November. Despite international law supporting Xi’s arrest on U.S. soil, rather than being met with police, Xi received a regal welcome at the lavish Filoli estate in Woodside, California, where he spent four hours discussing topics of mutual interest with Biden.

“For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option. It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other, and conflict and confrontation has unbearable consequences for both sides,” Xi said at the time.

 

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.



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