Biden holds call with Xi, both sides offer different accounts of what was said

Nearly a month after his inauguration and more than three months since the presidential election, Joe Biden held his first call with Xi Jinping since entering the White House, just days after his secretary of state warned Beijing that Washington would hold China accountable for its “abuses”.

In a Wednesday night tweet, Biden said that he spoke today with President Xi “to offer good wishes to the Chinese people for Lunar New Year.” He also shared concerns “about Beijing’s economic practices, human rights abuses, and coercion of Taiwan” and told him that Biden “will work with China when it benefits the American people.”

The White house also chimed in saying that “President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan. President Biden committed to pursuing practical, results-oriented engagements when it advances the interests of the American people and those of our allies.”

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“The two leaders also exchanged views on countering the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shared challenges of global health security, climate change, and preventing weapons proliferation. President Biden committed to pursuing practical, results-oriented engagements when it advances the interests of the American people and those of our allies” the White House said.

The call, however, had vastly different content when retold from China’s side. 

According to an account of the conversation reported by Chinese state television, Xi said that “cooperation was the only choice and that the two countries need to properly manage disputes in a constructive manner.” Xi also told Biden that “confrontation between China and the United States would be a disaster and the two sides should re-establish the means to avoid misjudgments.”

Xi also said Beijing and Washington should re-establish various mechanisms for dialogue in order to understand each others’ intentions and avoid misunderstandings, the report said.

Finally, and most bizarrely, Xi told Biden that he hopes the United States will cautiously handle matters related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang that deal with matters of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Quite the opposite of what Biden reportedly told Xi…

Read more via ZeroHedge.com

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Author: Tyler Durden

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