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Xi Jinping and Joe Biden shook hands and smiled at the flags of the two countries at a hotel in Bali

Nusa Dua, Indonesia:

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping clashed over Taiwan on Monday but found common ground at the powers’ first in-person summit in three years, including a joint warning against China’s use of nuclear weapons. Russia in Ukraine.

Both Xi and Biden sought to bring the temperature down as they met for more than two hours on the resort island of Bali, with the presidents both saying they wanted to prevent high tensions from turning into conflict.

In a sign of progress in the collaboration, the White House announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would visit China, the oldest US visitor since 2018.

Biden and Xi, who is on just his second trip abroad since the pandemic, shook hands and smiled in front of the flags of the two countries at a hotel in Bali, where the Group of 20 is opening a summit on Tuesday.

Biden, seated across from Xi at face-to-face tables, said Beijing and Washington “share the responsibility” of showing the world they can “manage our differences, keep competition from becoming conflict.”

Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades who just won a groundbreaking third term, told Biden the world was “at a crossroads.”

“The world expects China and the United States to handle their relationship properly,” Xi told him.

Xi later told him that China and the United States “share more, not less” common interests, according to a Chinese statement.

– ‘First red line’ –

Tensions have risen sharply over Taiwan, as China conducted major military exercises in August after a visit to the self-governing democracy, which it claims, by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Xi told Biden that Taiwan was the “first red line not to cross in China-US relations,” according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.

The White House said Biden told Xi he opposed any changes to Taiwan – after the US leader repeatedly indicated Washington was prepared to defend the island militarily.

Biden raised US ‘objections’ to China’s ‘coercive and increasingly aggressive actions towards Taiwan, which undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the wider region, and jeopardize global prosperity’ , the White House said.

Despite the clash in Taiwan, the White House has indicated it has found common ground with China on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a high priority for Biden who hopes to deprive Moscow of its main potential source of international support.

Xi and Biden ‘reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won and underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine’ , the White House statement said.

China, despite rhetorical support for Russia, has not supplied weapons for the war in Ukraine as Moscow is forced to rely on Iran and North Korea, US officials say.

Biden also pushed China to rein in ally North Korea after a record slew of missile tests raised fears that Pyongyang could soon conduct its seventh nuclear test.

Biden told Xi that “all members of the international community have a stake in encouraging the DPRK to act responsibly,” the White House said, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name.

Xi’s last face-to-face meeting with a US president was in 2019 with Donald Trump, who along with Biden has identified China as a major international concern and the only potential challenger to US primacy on the world stage. .

Although the meeting was Xi and Biden’s first time meeting as presidents, the pair have an unusually long history together.

By Biden’s estimate, he spent 67 hours as vice president in person with Xi, including a trip to China in 2011 aimed at better understanding China’s then-in-waiting leader. and a meeting in 2017 in the final days of Barack Obama’s administration.

On Tuesday, Xi will hold the first official talks with an Australian leader since 2017, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced, following a concerted pressure campaign by Beijing against the close US ally.

– Putin absent –

Although he engages Xi, Biden has refused since the invasion of Ukraine to deal directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is conspicuously absent from the Bali summit.

The Kremlin cited scheduling problems and instead dispatched longtime foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who arrived Sunday evening and underwent two checkups at a hospital in Bali, according to an Indonesian Ministry of Health official. health.

Lavrov, 72, denied reports he was receiving treatment at a hospital in Bali, telling Tass news agency he was at his hotel preparing for the summit.

Lavrov’s presence challenged a usual G20 group photo and joint statement, with Russia sure to reject any explicit calls to end its invasion of Ukraine.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)