US-China talks: Biden raises concerns over Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong; Xi warns of Taiwan 'red line'

US President Joe Biden, with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, speaks virtually with Chinese leader Xi Jinping from the White House in Washington on Nov 15, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters

WASHINGTON - US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping talked about China's practices in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, among other areas of friction, the White House said in a statement, after the two held over three hours of virtual talks.

"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.

He also told Mr Xi that the US remains committed to the 'One China' policy related to Taiwan, the White House said, and the two pledged to work together on energy and climate issues.

Mr Xi in turn told Mr Biden his country would have to take "decisive measures" if "pro-Taiwan independence" forces crossed a "red line," Chinese state media said.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunified, by force, if necessary.

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The two leaders stressed their responsibility to the world to avoid conflict.

"It seems to me our responsibility as leaders of China and the United States is to ensure that our competition between our countries does not veer into conflict, whether intended or unintended," Mr Biden said at the start of the talks. "Just simple, straightforward competition."

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Xi said: "As the world's two largest economies and the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation."

The official Xinhua news agency described the meeting as "frank, constructive, substantive and fruitful".

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