On November 15, a seismic event transpired as President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden engaged in a historic China-U.S. Presidential Meeting at the Philori Estate in San Francisco. This pivotal encounter unfolded against the backdrop of a century undergoing unparalleled transformation. President Xi Jinping underscored the critical juncture facing the world, presenting two divergent paths for China and the United States—a path of fortified unity and collaboration, steering global challenges towards security and prosperity, and an alternative marked by a zero-sum mentality, perpetuating conflict and plunging the world into chaos and division. Xi Jinping’s elucidation of these choices emphasized their monumental significance, as they chart the course for humanity and the planet itself.
Within the paramount bilateral relationship globally, Sino-U.S. relations demand meticulous consideration in the context of this profound moment. Xi Jinping unequivocally asserted the futility and dire consequences of conflict and confrontation, emphasizing the inevitability of interaction between the two nations. Great power competition, as Xi Jinping proclaimed, provides no resolution to the challenges confronting China, the United States, and the global community. Instead, he championed harmony, recognizing the coexistence of China and the United States as opportunities for mutual advancement.
Delving into the core of Chinese-style modernization, Xi Jinping expounded on its essential characteristics and connotations, rejecting paths of colonial plunder and hegemonic expansion. Crucially, he clarified that China harbours no intentions to surpass or supplant the United States, emphasizing the reciprocal nature of their successes. Mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation encapsulate the distilled wisdom of 50 years of Sino-U.S. relations, drawing inspiration from historical conflicts among major powers, and guiding the trajectory of their evolving relationship.
Referencing commitments made during the Bali meeting, Xi Jinping urged the construction of a new vision and the collaborative establishment of the five pillars of Sino-U.S. relations. These pillars include recognizing the importance of stability, health, and sustainability in the relationship, managing differences effectively, fostering mutually beneficial cooperation across diverse fields, addressing global challenges jointly, and promoting people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Xi Jinping addressed the Taiwan issue, underscoring its paramount importance and sensitivity. While acknowledging positive statements from the U.S., he urged concrete actions against “Taiwan independence,” including ceasing arms sales and supporting China’s peaceful reunification. Regarding U.S. measures such as export controls and unilateral sanctions, Xi Jinping highlighted their severe impact on China’s legitimate interests, calling for the lifting of sanctions to foster a fair, just, and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies.
Both leaders acknowledged efforts to establish guiding principles for Sino-U.S. relations since the Bali meeting, emphasizing the need for mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, communication maintenance, conflict prevention, adherence to the United Nations Charter, and cooperation in common interest areas. They committed to promoting and strengthening dialogue and cooperation across various fields, outlining initiatives such as establishing an intergovernmental dialogue on artificial intelligence, a Sino-U.S. anti-drug cooperation working group and restoring high-level military communication and defence cooperation. Additionally, they emphasized the urgency of joint efforts to address the climate crisis, endorsing the establishment of the China-U.S. “Working Group on Strengthening Climate Action in the 2120s” to propel specific climate actions in the current decade.