Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden met on Monday for long-awaited talks that come as relations between their countries are at their lowest in decades, marred by disagreements over a host of issues from Taiwan to trade.
The two, holding their first in-person talks since Biden became president, met on the Indonesian island of Bali ahead of a Group of 20 (G20) summit on Tuesday that is set to be fraught with tension over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
They smiled as they shook hands warmly in front of a row of Chinese and U.S. flags in a ballroom at the luxury hotel Mulia on Bali’s Nusa Dua bay.
“We spent a lot of time together back in the day when we were both vice presidents and it’s just great to see you,” Biden told Xi as he put an arm around him, adding in remarks delivered in front of reporters that he was committed to keeping lines of communication open on a personal and government level.
“As the leaders of our two nations, we share responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from … turning into conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation.”