President Joe Biden meets with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping. (Photo: ©WhiteHouse)

President Joe Biden has held his first face-to-face meeting with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the G20 summit of world leaders in Bali.

The meeting, which lasted over three hours, comes at a time when the relationship between the two superpowers is at an all-time low. US and China have profound differences over Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, but both presidents Biden and Xi Jinping were willing to halt the slide to chart the right course for the US-China relationship.

At the press conference, Biden said he had “an open and candid conversation about our intentions and priorities” with the Chinese leader.

“We’re going to compete vigorously. But I’m not looking for conflict, I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly,” clarified Biden.

Biden and Xi Jinping have met many times and know each other well which assured a level of familiarity between them. The last time they’ve met was more than 5 years ago, in 2017, during World Economic Forum in Davos.

Biden said that the US policy over Taiwan “has not changed” and that his administration continues to oppose “unilateral change in the status quo by either side.” He also said that he does not think there’s any “imminent attempt” by China to invade Taiwan.

The two leaders, Biden revealed, talked about the war in Ukraine and agreed that “the use of nuclear weapons is totally unacceptable.”

On North Korea, Biden said that he is not sure that China can control Kim Jong-un’s actions in any way but that he made it clear to President Xi Jinping that China has “an obligation to attempt to make it clear to North Korea that they should not engage in long-range nuclear tests.”

Biden said he is confident that China is “not looking for North Korea to engage in further escalatory means.”

The meeting, according to the White House, started at 5:48 pm and ended at 8:48 pm. There was about a 25 minute break in between. 

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