Daily Mail

No new Cold War or nukes, insist Xi and Biden

- From David Churchill

THE West can avoid a ‘new Cold War’ with China, Joe Biden said yesterday as he played down the threat of an imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

After talks with Chinese premier Xi Jinping, President Biden said the US would ‘compete vigorously’ with China but ‘competitio­n should not veer into conflict’.

All eyes were on the two leaders yesterday as they held much-anticipate­d talks at the G20 summit – the first meeting between them since Mr Biden succeeded Donald Trump in 2021.

The White House said Mr Biden and Mr Xi agreed that ‘a nuclear war should never be fought’ and cannot be won, ‘and underscore­d their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.’ That was a reference to Russian officials’ veiled threats to use atomic weapons as its nine-month invasion of Ukraine falters.

Relations between China and the

US are at their lowest in decades, marred by disagreeme­nts over issues from Taiwan to trade.

But the two leaders smiled and shook hands warmly in front of Chinese and US flags in a ballroom at the luxury hotel Mulia on Bali’s Nusa Dua bay. ‘It’s just great to see you,’ Mr Biden said as he put an arm around his counterpar­t.

‘As the leaders of our two nations, we share responsibi­lity to show China and the United States can manage our difference­s, prevent competitio­n... turning into conflict and find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual co-operation.’

Mr Xi said relations between China and the US did not meet global expectatio­ns, adding: ‘So we need to chart the right course for the China-US relationsh­ip.

‘We need to find the right direction for the bilateral relationsh­ip and elevate the relationsh­ip.

‘The world expects that China and the United States will properly handle the relationsh­ip.’

He added that he looked forward to working with Mr Biden to bring the relationsh­ip back on the right track. Mr Biden has alarmed Beijing in recent months by suggesting he is ready to ditch the US’s long-standing ‘One China’ policy – in which the US maintains diplomatic relations with China, but not with Taiwan – and saying he would be ready to defend Taiwan.

But yesterday he said the stance, in which Washington recognises Beijing as the only Chinese government, ‘has not changed at all’. He added: ‘I absolutely believe there need not be a new Cold War.

‘I have met many times with Xi Jinping and we were candid and clear with one another across the board. I do not think there is any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.’

Mr Biden and Mr Xi also agreed to ‘empower key senior officials’ on areas of potential co-operation, including tackling climate change and maintainin­g global financial, health and food stability. But it was not clear whether that meant China would restart the climate change talks it paused in protest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August.

Both entered the three-hour meeting with bolstered standing at home. Democrats held on to the US Senate, while Mr Xi has been awarded a third five-year term.

‘We have very little misunderst­anding,’ Mr Biden said in Cambodia on Sunday at a gathering of south- east Asian nations before leaving for Indonesia. ‘We’ve just got to figure out where the red lines are and... what are the most important things to each of us going into the next two years.’

‘We were candid with each other’

 ?? ?? Warm front: Xi Jinping and Joe Biden shake hands at the G20 summit in Bali yesterday
Warm front: Xi Jinping and Joe Biden shake hands at the G20 summit in Bali yesterday

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