Xi Jinping (C) shakes hands in Beijing with Joe Biden, the U.S. vice president.
Lintao Zhang | Reuters
BEIJING — U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off a virtual meeting on Tuesday with a positive tone and cordial remarks.
Biden indicated that he hopes to be able to speak with Biden face to face sometime in the future and that he looks forward to having a honest conversation. Biden said that it was the responsibility of leaders to communicate where they are at odds and discuss how they might work together towards achieving climate goals.
Xi suggested that meeting in person would be more beneficial and called on for greater communication.
This video call was the first communication between leaders of the two countries since Biden assumed office in January. Trump was the former U.S. president and tensions had been high between both countries since January. This began with tariffs and trade on billions worth of goods.
A senior Biden administration official informed reporters that the meeting would not include tariffs. Officials stated that the meeting was about U.S. efforts with China to manage their competition, and not any specific goals or an end result.
According to the official, this high-level meeting was important in order for competition not to lead conflict.
The dispute over Taiwan has been a source of tension between China, the U.S., and Beijing. Beijing regards the island which runs its own democracy government as part of Beijing’s territory.