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Vice President Harris meets briefly with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ‘maintain relations’

US Vice President Kamala Harris held a brief meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, taking another step toward maintaining communication between the two largest economies.

Harris and Xi exchanged views on Saturday as they headed for a closed-door meeting at the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bangkok.

“Greetings to President Xi Jinping before the APEC summit,” Harris tweeted. Open communication must be maintained to responsibly manage competition between the two countries.”

Their exchanges closely align with comments Biden made to Xi Jinping at the two leaders’ meeting earlier this week.

A brief statement by China’s foreign ministry also referred to the meeting between Biden and Xi at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, which he called “strategic and constructive” and described “the next step in Sino-US relations. It makes a lot of sense in guiding the steps.” He said he hopes the vice president will work with China to promote bilateral relations and play an active role in “getting back on a healthy and stable track.”

Relations between Washington and Beijing have been plagued by friction over trade and technology, China’s claim to the separately administered island of Taiwan, the pandemic and China’s handling of Hong Kong, human rights and other issues.

Harris later attended a handover ceremony in which Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha handed over the APEC Presidency to the United States, which will take over next year’s APEC Presidency in San Francisco.

She told leaders attending the ceremony that the US will continue to focus on sustainable economic growth and build on the strong foundation Thailand has set this year with its new ambitious sustainability goals. .

She also touted her home state of California, saying, “There is no better place to host APEC 2023 than California, a state known for its economic innovation.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, November 19, 2022.

“Our year will demonstrate America’s enduring economic commitment to the Indo-Pacific,” said Harris.

“As I have made clear throughout my time in Bangkok, under our administration, the United States is a strong partner for Indo-Pacific economies and businesses, and we are committed to strengthening economic ties across the region. Two-way trade flows and the free flow of capital support millions of American jobs.”

On Friday, Harris touted the US as a trusted economic partner, saying at a business meeting in close proximity to APEC that “the US will stay here.”

Harris told leaders at the APEC summit that the United States is a “proud Pacific power” and has “a vital interest in promoting an open, interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient region.” There are,” he said.

After receiving news that North Korea had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that had landed near Japanese waters, Harris called an emergency meeting of the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to launch a missile test. He called it a “brazen violation”. of multiple UN security resolutions. “

“It destabilizes the region and unnecessarily increases tensions,” she said.

“We strongly condemn these actions and reiterate our call to North Korea to end its further illegal and destabilizing actions,” Harris said. “On behalf of the United States, I reaffirmed our ironclad commitment to the Indo-Pacific Alliance.”

Her remarks at the wider APEC forum capped off a week of high-level outreach from the United States to Asia. Washington is trying to counteract China’s growing influence in the region, and President Joe Biden is pushing a message of US commitment to the region at the Southeast Asia Association. Asian summit in Cambodia and G-20 meeting in Indonesia.

Many Asian nations question America’s commitment to Asia after former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was central to former President Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia. started to show.

The Biden administration is seeking to restore confidence and capitalize on mounting questions over problems associated with China’s regional infrastructure investments in what critics call Beijing’s “debt trap” diplomacy.

Biden and Harris also focused on Washington’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which was launched earlier this year.

https://www.voanews.com/a/vp-harris-meets-briefly-with-china-s-xi-to-keep-lines-open-/6841426.html Vice President Harris meets briefly with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ‘maintain relations’

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