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US President Joe Biden met with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, this week for the first time in a year, a meeting aimed at preventing tensions between the world’s two largest economies from spiraling into conflict, Agence France-Presse reported.
During the meeting at the Filoli estate in California on Wednesday, both nations agreed to restore military-to-military communications, which China severed after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022. They also agreed to deepen cooperation on climate change ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Dubai next month.
Xi also agreed to tackle the production of ingredients used in the making of the drug fentanyl, which is responsible for a deadly opioid epidemic in the US.
Relations between China and the US have been tense over the years amid trade disputes and Beijing’s human rights record, but they took a nosedive earlier this year when Washington shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon.
Despite the positive rhetoric and the exchange of warm words during the encounter, underlying tensions persist. One area of contention is the tightening of restrictions on the export of advanced technology by the US, particularly in light of China’s economic struggles, according to the Guardian.
China voiced concern that such measures, including restrictions on chipmaking technology, seriously hurt its legitimate interests.
Disagreements on key issues remain, especially on the Taiwan question – China views Taiwan as a renegade province. Xi Jinping emphasized that the US should “stop arming Taiwan and support China’s peaceful reunification.”
The US, on the other hand, reiterated its commitment to arming Taiwan as a deterrent.
Meanwhile, shortly after the summit ended, Biden called Xi a “dictator.”