US President Joe Biden has said that he expects a ceasefire to take effect in Gaza by next Monday (March 4) on the conclusion of negotiations to free Israeli hostages being held by Hamas.
US President Joe Biden engaged in crucial discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the US-China Summit, focusing on various key issues. Biden underscored the significance of the Middle East, according to CNN. Xi, in turn, urged the United States to take concrete actions to uphold its commitment of not supporting ‘Taiwan Independence,’ as reported by Chinese state media. He emphasized China’s eventual reunification, stating it as an inevitable outcome.
The conversation delved into the sensitive topic of Taiwan, with Xi expressing concerns about it being the most significant and precarious issue in US-China relations. While outlining China’s preference for peaceful reunification, Xi also outlined conditions under which force might be employed. In response, Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to preserving peace and stability in the region. A US official quoted Xi as responding, “Look, peace is all well and good, but at some point we need to move towards resolution more generally.”
Addressing Taiwan’s upcoming vote in January, the US requested China to respect the island’s electoral process. Despite ongoing worries about China’s military buildup around Taiwan, officials left the meeting with the impression that Xi was not preparing for a massive invasion.
Biden took the opportunity to urge Xi to leverage China’s influence with Iran, encouraging them to discourage further escalation. Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed that discussions with the Iranians on this matter had already taken place. The seriousness with which Iran considered China’s messages remained uncertain to Biden’s aides after the meeting. Additionally, Biden clarified his view that Hamas should be considered separately from the broader Palestinian issue, as reported by CNN.
Throughout the talks, Biden urged Xi to use China’s influence with Iran to prevent further escalation. Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed that they had already engaged in discussions with the Iranians on this matter. The extent to which Iran took China’s messages seriously remained uncertain to Biden’s aides after the meeting. Biden clarified his view that Hamas should be considered separately from the broader Palestinian issue, according to CNN.
Following the summit, a senior US official informed CNN that Biden and Xi reached agreements to address fentanyl production and restore military communication. While considered progress, there was no joint statement or formal declaration of cooperation. China committed to targeting companies producing precursor chemicals for fentanyl, a potent narcotic contributing to the US drug crisis. The US will closely monitor China’s follow-through on these commitments.
Xi also agreed to establish mechanisms addressing potential military miscalculations and forums for both sides to voice concerns. The re-establishment of military-to-military communication was a significant point of emphasis for the US, with Biden and top advisers consistently raising it in conversations with their Chinese counterparts. Despite challenges, the summit concluded positively, with Biden stating that the talks went well and noting “real progress” on social media after a walk around the historic estate south of San Francisco with Xi, CNN reported.