President Joe Biden on Monday greeted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in person for the first time since taking office, their handshake launching high-stakes talks, CNN reports.
Biden and Xi walked toward each other from opposite sides of a hotel lobby and shook hands in front of a row of US and Chinese flags just after 5:30 p.m. local time. They smiled for cameras and Xi – through a translator – appeared to say, “Good to see you.”
“As leaders of our two nations, we share responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever nearing conflict and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation,” Biden said as the talks got underway.
“The world expects, I believe, China and the United States to play key roles in addressing global challenges,” he said.
Speaking second, Xi seemed to offer what could be interpreted as a pointed message to his counterpart, who has spent more than half-a-century on the world stage.
“A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country,” Xi said through a translator. “He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world.”