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Biden warns Xi to expect “extreme competition” from the US

(ATF) US President Joe Biden said China will face ‘extreme’ competition from the US under his administration, but he does not want the relationship to be marred by conflict.

In an interview broadcast on CBS on Sunday February 7, Biden acknowledged that he had not spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping since his inauguration on January 20, but pointed out they had met many times when Biden was US vice-president under Barack Obama.

“I know him pretty well,” Biden said in the interview, adding that when they do have a discussion, he and Xi will have “a whole lot to talk about.” Biden described Xi as “very bright” and “very tough” but without “a democratic, small D, bone in his body.

“I’ve said to him all along that we need not have a conflict,” Biden said. “But there’s going to be extreme competition?.?.?.?I’m not going to do it the way Trump did. We’re going to focus on international rules of the road.”

The main contact made between the two superpowers since Biden’s inauguration came on Friday February 5 when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in a phone call that Washington would stand up for human rights and democratic values in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

HOLDING BEIJING ACCOUNTABLE

Blinken reaffirmed that Washington will work with allies to hold Beijing accountable for efforts to threaten Asia-Pacific stability, including across the Taiwan Strait, the US State department said in a statement.

Ned Price, a department spokesman, said Blinken had extended Yang, director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, best wishes for the lunar new year, which begins on February 12.

“The Secretary reaffirmed that the United States will work together with its allies and partners in defence of our shared values and interests to hold the PRC accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait, and its undermining of the rules-based international system,” Price said in a statement.

According to the Chinese Foreign ministry, Yang urged the US to redress recent mistakes, “act constructively” and not interfere in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. “No one can stop the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” he told Blinken.

The US Secretary of State also pressed China to condemn the military coup in Myanmar.

With reporting by Reuters

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Jon Macaskill

Jon Macaskill has over 25 years experience covering financial markets from New York and London. He won the State Street press award for 'Best Editorial Comment' in 2016

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