BEIJING, March 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — From the COVID-19 pandemic to the Ukraine crisis, the international landscape has experienced major changes, with global peace and development facing serious challenges.
“The world is neither tranquil nor stable,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday while calling on China and the U.S. to shoulder their share of international responsibilities and work for world peace and tranquility.
Xi made the remarks during a video call with U.S. President Joe Biden at the latter’s request.
“As leaders of major countries, we need to think about how to properly address global hotspot issues and, more importantly, keep in mind global stability and the work and life of billions of people,” Xi told Biden.
After their candid and in-depth discussion, the two leaders agreed to take concrete actions to put China-U.S. relations back on the track of steady development and make respective efforts for the proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
‘I take these remarks very seriously’
Biden again told Xi that the U.S. does not seek to have a new Cold War with China, to change China’s system, or to revitalize alliances against China and that the U.S. does not support “Taiwan independence” or intend to seek a conflict with China. Xi replied, “I take these remarks very seriously.”
Xi pointed out the China-U.S. relationship, instead of getting out of the predicament created by the previous U.S. administration, has encountered a growing number of challenges. What’s worth noting, in particular, is that some people in the U.S. have sent a wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces, Xi said, adding “this is very dangerous.”
Mishandling of the Taiwan question will have a disruptive impact on bilateral ties, said Xi. “China hopes that the U.S. will give due attention to this issue,” he said.
The direct cause for the current situation in the China-U.S. relationship is that some people on the U.S. side have not followed through on the important common understanding reached by the two presidents and have not acted on President Biden’s positive statements. The U.S. has misperceived and miscalculated China’s strategic intention, Xi stressed.
He underscored that there have been and will continue to be differences between China and the U.S. “What matters is to keep such differences under control. A steadily growing relationship is in the interest of both sides,” the Chinese president said.
‘It takes two hands to clap’
Friday’s video call was the first conversation between the two leaders since the outbreak of the Russia–Ukraine conflict. They both expounded on their positions on the issue and voiced a willingness to make efforts for the proper settlement of the crisis.
As Biden expressed readiness for communication with China to prevent the situation from exacerbating, Xi told him “China does not want to see the situation in Ukraine come to this. China stands for peace and opposes war. This is embedded in China’s history and culture.”
The Chinese president reiterated the major principles that underpin China’s approach to the Ukraine crisis and noted that all sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace.
“The more complex the situation, the greater the need to remain cool-headed and rational,” Xi said, adding that whatever the circumstances, there is always a need for political courage to create space for peace and leave room for a political settlement.
Citing two Chinese sayings: “It takes two hands to clap,” “He who tied the bell to the tiger must take it off,” Xi urged the U.S. and NATO to have a dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.
Noting things are already very difficult for countries around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese president also warned that sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions would only make the people suffer.
“If further escalated, they could trigger serious crises in global economy and trade, finance, energy, food, and industrial and supply chains, crippling the already languishing world economy and causing irrevocable losses,” Xi said.
“China has been doing its best for peace and will continue to play a constructive role,” he added.