US, Chinese leaders have "healthy debate" in 3-hour call

(VOVWORLD) - US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping discussed North Korea, Iran, trade and competition, climate, military issues, the pandemic and other areas during an over three-hour call on Monday.
US, Chinese leaders have US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a 3-hour call on November 15, 2021. (Source: Reuters)

The closely watched conversation between the leaders of the world's biggest economies was described by both sides as frank and direct as the two sides tried to lower the temperature and avoid conflict.

The White House said President Biden underscored that the US will continue to stand up for its interests and values and, together with its allies and partners, ensure the rules of the road for the 21st century advance an international system that is free, open, and fair.

He emphasized the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and communicated the continued determination of the US to uphold its commitments in the region. President Biden reiterated the importance of freedom of navigation and safe overflight to the region’s prosperity.

President Xi compared the two countries to "two giant ships sailing in the sea" that needed to be steadied so they didn't collide, Chinese state media reported.

According to the White House, President Biden underscored the importance of managing strategic risks. He noted the need for common-sense guardrails to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict and to keep lines of communication open.

President Biden underscored that the US remains committed to the “one China” policy and that the US strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The two leaders had a "healthy debate," a senior US official said afterward. 

The talks appeared to yield no immediate outcomes, but gave the two leaders opportunity to nudge their relations away from icy confrontation.