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Explained: What happened at Joe Biden-Xi Jinping summit, and why it matters to India

President Joe Biden of the United States and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for three and a half hours on Tuesday, the first virtual bilateral meeting of the two leaders since Biden assumed office in January this year.

Biden joined from the White House; Xi from the Great Hall in Beijing. The US President took the initiative for the summit, in sync with America’s concern that it should try to prevent military engagement with China.

The two leaders had spoken twice by telephone earlier this year, but there had been no formal summit before Tuesday’s meeting.

What happened at the Joe Biden, Xi Jinping meeting?

Statements issued afterward showed clear divergences in the positions taken by the two sides.

Biden spoke about violations of human rights by China, and Beijing’s trade policy. “President Biden raised concerns about the PRC’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as human rights more broadly,” the White House said in a statement.

“He was clear about the need to protect American workers and industries from the PRC’s unfair trade and economic practices,” it said.

Biden also “discussed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and communicated the continued determination of the United States to uphold [US] commitments in the region. [He] reiterated the importance of freedom of navigation and safe overflight to the region’s prosperity,” the US readout said.


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