Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden agreed at a meeting near San Francisco to restore direct communication channels between the militaries of the two powers. This connection was cut off by the Chinese last year after the Speaker of the House of Representatives visited Taiwan. The agreement to restore direct communication between the military was reported after the meeting between Biden and Xi by the Chinese state television channel CCTV. “Keeping lines of communication open between our armies is important because it avoids misunderstandings and mistakes that could lead to crisis or conflict,” the Pentagon press service said on this occasion.
China cut off direct communication channels after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Taiwan last August. This gesture extremely outraged Beijing and prompted it to organize large-scale exercises around Taiwan, simulating an invasion of the island.
At the same time, Chairman Xi, as a senior White House official told reporters on condition of anonymity, assured Biden at the meeting that China was not preparing to invade Taiwan and would prefer peaceful reunification - but immediately started talking about under what conditions the PRC could use force .
President Biden said at a press conference following the meeting that lines of communication will be constantly open not only between the Chinese and US militaries, but also at other levels, including the leaders themselves. “He and I agreed that we could both pick up the phone, call directly and be heard immediately,” Biden said. When asked if he trusted Xi Jinping, Biden responded with the adage “trust but verify,” and then said that he and Xi met a lot when they were vice presidents under Barack Obama and Hu Jintao, and he knows Xi as “straightforward.” and a frank interlocutor.
Xi Jinping, after meeting Biden at a dinner with the heads of leading American companies, said that China is ready to be a partner and friend of the United States, that the United States should not view China as a threat, and that the whole world needs the United States and China to cooperate, not fight. At the same time, as reported by world agencies, Xi once again stated that the United States should not interfere in China’s internal affairs.
Xi also noted that he considers the agreement with the US President to expand contacts between Americans and Chinese at different levels important. In addition to the agreement on military-to-military communications, Biden and Xi, according to the Chinese state press, agreed to create working groups that will engage in cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence and in the fight against drug trafficking. The American press wrote about the latter before the meeting: the United States would like China to help cut off the supply channels for fentanyl ingredients.
In addition, Beijing says Biden and Xi agreed to create “dialogue mechanisms” on foreign policy and shipping safety, as well as increase flights, exchange students between the two countries, and expand ties in education, culture, sports and business.