China-US talks: Joe Biden, Xi Jinping likely to meet virtually before year-end

Top Chinese and US diplomats held talks in Zurich which were constructive and conducive to enhancing mutual understanding, paving the way for more such meetings in the future.

Top Chinese and US diplomats have held talks which were constructive and conducive to enhancing mutual understanding in Zurich, paving the way for further talks in the future, the Chinese official media reported on Thursday.

While the Chinese official statement on the talks did not mention it, reports quoted a White House official as saying that President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden were likely to have a virtual meeting before the end of the year.

According to the Chinese readout, the two sides agreed to take action, following the spirit of the phone call between Chinese and US heads of state on September 10, to strengthen strategic communication and properly manage differences.

The two countries, it added, agreed to “…avoid confrontation and conflict, seek mutual benefit and win-win results, and work together to bring China-US relations back on the right track of sound and steady development”.

“The US side needs to have a deep understanding of the mutually beneficial nature of China-US relations and correctly understand China’s domestic and foreign policies and strategic intentions,” Yang said, adding that China opposes defining China-US relations as “competitive.”

Yang Jiechi said that China attaches importance to the positive remarks on China-US relations made recently by Joe Biden, and China has noticed that the US said it has no intention to contain China’s development, and is not seeking a “new Cold War.”

White House statement on the Swiss meeting said Jake Sullivan stressed to Yang Jiechi the need to maintain open lines of communication, while raising concerns about China’s recent military provocations against Taiwan, human rights abuses against ethnic minorities and Beijing’s efforts to squelch pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong.

The meeting in Zurich was held in the backdrop of heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over a range of issues including Taiwan.

It was Jake Sullivan’s first face-to-face meeting with Yang Jiechi since their bitter exchanges in Alaska in March, which also involved US secretary of state Antony Blinken.

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