Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, had their first face-to-face meeting on Monday since the latter assumed the American presidency.
With translators providing simultaneous interpretation in a three-plus-hour meeting, the two leaders had a "candid, constructive and in-depth exchange of views" on a wide range of issues of strategic importance in China-U.S. relations and on major global and regional affairs.
While western media outlets have covered the high-profile meeting extensively, they might have missed some of the key messages that came out of the event, just as follows:
President Xi said:
-- As leaders of two major countries, the two presidents need to play the leadership role, set the right course for the China-U.S. relationship and put it on an upward trajectory.
-- A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world.
-- The domestic and foreign policies of the CPC and the Chinese government are open and transparent, with clearly stated and transparent strategic intentions and great continuity and stability.
-- China-U.S. relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other. The successes of China and the United States are opportunities, not challenges, for each other. The world is big enough for the two countries to develop themselves and prosper together.
-- The two sides should form a correct perception of each other's domestic and foreign policies and strategic intentions. China-U.S. interactions should be defined by dialogue and win-win cooperation, not confrontation and zero-sum competition.
-- Observing the basic norms of international relations and the three China-U.S. joint communiques is vitally important for the two sides to manage differences and disagreements and prevent confrontation and conflict. It is indeed the most important guardrail and safety net for China-U.S. relations.
-- No country has a perfect democratic system, and there is always a need for development and improvement.
-- The so-called "democracy versus authoritarianism" narrative is not the defining feature of today's world, still less does it represent the trend of the times.
-- Instead of talking in one way and acting in another, the United States needs to honor its commitments with concrete action.
President Biden said:
-- I hereby reaffirm that a stable and prosperous China is good for the United States and the world, and the United States respects China's system, and does not seek to change it.
-- The United States does not seek a new Cold War, does not seek to revitalize alliances against China, does not support "Taiwan independence," does not support "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," and has no intention to have a conflict with China, and has no intention to seek "de-coupling" from China, to halt China's economic development, or to contain China.
After the high-profile meeting, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said:
-- The U.S. side should translate President Biden's positive remarks into concrete policies and actions, and stop containing and suppressing China, refrain from interfering in China's internal affairs, and stop undermining China's sovereignty, security and development interests, so as to work with China in the same direction.