Biden, Xi agree to look at possible arms control talks - GulfToday

Biden, Xi agree to look at possible arms control talks


A picture of Chinese President attending a virtual meeting with US President is seen on a newspaper front-page, at a newsstand in Beijing, China, on Wednesday. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed at a virtual meeting to look into the possibility of arms control talks, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday.

Biden and Xi agreed to "look to begin to carry forward discussion on strategic stability," Sullivan said in a reference to US concerns about China's nuclear and missile buildup.

US President said he had a "good meeting" with Chinese President Xi Jinping and aides would follow up on a range of issues.


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Asked whether the two leaders had made any progress on Taiwan during their virtual meeting on Monday, Biden said: "We made very clear we support the Taiwan Act."

Meanwhile, China says it and the US have agreed to ease restrictions on each other's media workers. The announcement in the official “China Daily” newspaper on Wednesday said the agreement was reached ahead of Tuesday’s virtual summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden. Limits on media workers have fueled tensions between the two countries for more than a year.

Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room in Washington. AP

"You will see at multiple levels an intensification of the engagement to ensure that there are guardrails around this competition so that it doesn't veer off into conflict," Sullivan said in a Brookings Institution webinar.

Sullivan did not elaborate on what form the discussions on strategic stability could take, but went on to say:

"That is not the same as what we have in the Russian context with the formal strategic stability dialogue. That is far more mature, has a much deeper history to it. There's less maturity to that in the US-China relationship, but the two leaders did discuss these issues and it is now incumbent on us to think about the most productive way to carry it forward."

Washington has repeatedly urged China to join it and Russia in a new arms control treaty.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing. File photo

Beijing says the arsenals of the other two countries dwarf its own. It says it is ready to conduct bilateral dialogues on strategic security "on the basis of equality and mutual respect."

It was the two leaders' most in-depth exchange since Biden took office in January.

Although they spoke for about 3-1/2 hours, the two leaders appeared to do little to narrow differences that have raised fears of an eventual conflict between the two superpowers.




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