President Joe Biden said he remains hopeful that the U.S. and China can work together during a Monday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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The meeting between the leaders of the world's two largest economies is happening on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, which is being held this year on the resort island of Bali.
Leaders were expected to discuss simmering tensions between China and Taiwan, a self-governed island that Xi has a strong desire to bring under mainland control, Russia's war on Ukraine, which will soon enter its ninth month.
China has been irked by the United States' close relationship with Taiwan. Beijing responded to an August visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island by firing missiles into the Taiwan Strait. The nation has also been put in an undeniably a difficult position by Russia's war in Ukraine.
"I'm committed to keeping the lines of communications open between you and me personally, but also our governments across the board," Biden told Xi on Monday, emphasizing both countries share a responsibility to "manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever to near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation."
Xi responded by saying, "The world has come to a crossroads. Where to go from here. This is a question that is not only on our mind but also on the mind of all countries. The world expects that China and the United States will properly handle the relationship.”
Biden and Xi last met in 2017 in Davos, Switzerland on one Biden's last days as vice president. Since becoming president in 2021, Biden had spoken with Xi by phone video five times, prior to their meeting on Monday.
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