On Friday, China gave a positive, almost rosy assessment of a call between President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden this week. The new American leader works to decide how aggressive an approach to take with his country's major rival.
China assessed a call between Xi and Biden
The call was timed well as it happened on a Thursday, the eve of the Lunar New Year, promoted by Chinese state media as one of the most extensive holiday seasons in many Asian countries, including China.
According to an English-language Global Times editorial, the two-hour phone call was interpreted as Biden showing respect for President Xi Jinping and China. "It seems that he's using such sympathy to balance the tough messages the new US administration sent in recent days and different views on those messages," added the news outlet, which is run by the Chinese Communist Party but not considered a mouthpiece for it.
Biden himself has previously emphasized the importance of their meetings, particularly for a leader like Xi, whose personal character remains internationally unknown as his hold on the power mechanisms at home continues to grow, as per the USA News.
Their call on Thursday lasted for two hours, unusual for a meeting of representatives of the most vital forces in the world. American readouts of the call said Biden confronted Xi on his latest military and human rights policies. The President later warned that if the U.S. would not do enough to keep up, Beijing will 'eat our lunch' on infrastructure investment.
However, the Biden administration has also established a more mutually beneficial tone than the previous one. Particularly after President Donald Trump's increasing negativity against China over the past year, blaming Beijing for the U.S. coronavirus fallout. Many of Trump's top advisors, including then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have made China a centerpiece of their leadership and have perpetuated a trade war, the consequences of which remain in place.
Biden has tended to take a hard line toward Beijing, as the Global Times noted on Friday while stressing that the U.S. will support competitiveness rather than combativeness.
Biden said he had a 'good conversation' with Xi Jinping
President Joe Biden said they had a "good conversation" in his first phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, reported The Epoch Times.
The two sides' official remarks about the call, which took place on February 10, revealed the Presidents' contrasting positions. Biden raised "fundamental concerns" about Beijing's "unfair and coercive" economic policies, tightening the hold on Hong Kong, rights abuses in Xinjiang, and assertive behavior in the Asian region, particularly against Taiwan, the White House readout said.
Meanwhile, according to a readout from the regime's foreign ministry, Xi told the United States to "act responsibly" on issues that the Chinese government calls its "internal affairs," such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Xinjiang. Biden informed a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators at an Oval Office meeting on February 11 to address the need to improve the U.S. infrastructure. He also said that the United States would do more to deal with the challenge raised by China.
China will 'eat our lunch' on infrastructure spending, Biden warns
According to the BBC, Biden met with a group of senators on Thursday about infrastructure improvements in the U.S. The day after his first phone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden's warning came.
Xi took a firm stance on human rights on the call, saying the confrontation would be a disaster for all nations. After speaking with members of the Climate and Public Works commission, Biden made the remarks. The President said to the senators, "If we don't move, they (China) will eat our lunch."