Xi Jinping called Biden a longtime friend in his acceptance speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping called the American leader a “longtime friend” during his welcoming remarks at an online meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

“Today will be our first meeting via videoconference. It’s certainly not a face-to-face meeting, but it’s not bad either. It’s very good to see a longtime friend,” Xi Jinping said as he greeted the White House head.

Earlier, White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested that Biden still refuses to consider his Chinese counterpart an “old friend,” which speaks to his consistency. However, the U.S. president is confident of a frank dialogue with the Chinese leader.

After two hours of videoconference talks, the heads of state went on a 15-minute break. This was reported by China Central Television.

“The first half of the meeting via videoconference ended at 10:42,” the channel reported.

It is noted that during the first part of the meeting, Biden and Xi Jinping “exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as issues of mutual interest.”

The U.S. president stressed that the U.S. and Chinese authorities must not allow the transition from rivalry to conflict. In addition, Biden expressed the hope that he would meet personally with Xi Jinping next time.

For his part, Chinese President Xi Jinping signaled his willingness to work with the U.S. president to reach a consensus for the positive development of relations between the two countries.

In his view, China and the United States, as the world’s two largest economies, must respect each other, and solve not only their domestic affairs, but also fulfill their international obligations. Therefore, healthy and stable relations between the two countries are the key to maintaining a stable environment throughout the world and the ability to respond effectively to global challenges.

This is the first official meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office as U.S. president in January 2021. Previously, they have exchanged messages and phone calls. The last phone conversation between Biden and Xi Jinping took place on Sept. 10.