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China Readout Emphasizes that Summit ‘Charted the Course for Improving Relations’

President Biden shakes hands with President Xi, Nov. 15, 2023 (official White House photo).

The best summary of China’s overall evaluation of the Nov. 15 summit between presidents Xi and Biden, can be found at the end of the official China readout on the four hours of talks:

“The meeting was positive, comprehensive and constructive. It has charted the course for improving and developing China-U.S. relations. And San Francisco should be a new starting point for stabilizing China-U.S. relations. They instructed their teams to build on the understandings reached in Bali and to timely follow up on and implement the new vision agreed on at San Francisco. The two heads of state agreed to continue their regular contact.”

Unlike the White House readout, the Chinese report is centered on an overall strategic evaluation and set of proposals: “The two heads of state had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on strategic and overarching issues critical to the direction of China-U.S. relations and on major issues affecting world peace and development….

“President Xi Jinping noted that China and the United States are faced with two options in the era of global transformations unseen in a century: One is to enhance solidarity and cooperation and join hands to meet global challenges and promote global security and prosperity; and the other is to cling to the zero-sum mentality, provoke rivalry and confrontation, and drive the world toward turmoil and division. The two choices point to two different directions that will decide the future of humanity and Planet Earth. The China-U.S. relationship, which is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, should be perceived and envisioned in this broad context.

“For China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option. It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other. And conflict and confrontation have unbearable consequences for both sides. Major-country competition cannot solve the problems facing China and the United States or the world. The world is big enough to accommodate both countries, and one country’s success is an opportunity for the other….

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