Xi Jinping shakes hands with Joe Biden inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. File/Reuters
Confrontation between China and the United States would be a disaster and the two sides should re-establish the means to avoid misjudgments, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Joe Biden in their first telephone call as leaders.
The call on Thursday Asia time, but Wednesday in Washington, was the first since Biden took office and comes as Beijing and Washington clash over issues from trade, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, Taiwan and reports of human rights crimes against Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
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Xi reiterated during the call that cooperation was the only choice and that the two countries need to properly manage disputes in a constructive manner, according to an account of the conversation reported by Chinese state television.
He also said Beijing and Washington should re-establish various mechanisms for dialogue in order to understand each others’ intentions and avoid misunderstandings, the report said.
Xi also told Biden that he hopes the United States will cautiously handle matters related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang that deal with matters of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to an account of the discussions reported by Chinese state television on Thursday.
The two leaders spoke just hours after Biden announced plans for a Pentagon task force to review US national security strategy in China and after the new US president announced he was levying sanctions against Myanmar’s military regime following this month’s coup in the southeast Asian country.
On Thursday, Biden told a bipartisan group of US senators at a meeting on the need to upgrade US infrastructure the United States must raise its game in the face of the Chinese challenge.
Biden has invited 40 world leaders including Xi and Russia's Vladimir Putin to the meet starting on Earth Day, meant to mark Washington's return to the front lines of the fight against climate change after former president Donald Trump disengaged from the process.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed expressed his thanks to Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad for his congratulations and the sincere fraternal feelings he showed, wishing the brotherly State of Qatar and its people further progress and development.
Sheikh Sultan’s statement reads, “The Ruler of Sharjah congratulates Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his appointment as Vice President."
Sheikh Mohammed said, “I congratulate my brothers Sheikh Hazaa, Sheikh Tahnoun, Sheikh Mansour and Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohamed for the confidence in the President of the State. In you and your brothers, the leaders of the new generation, the march continues.”