WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden began a virtual meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday. Here are some of their opening remarks delivered via video conference.


“It seems to me our responsibility as leaders of China and the United States is to ensure that our competition between our countries does not veer into conflict, whether intended or unintended, just simple, straightforward competition.”

“It seems to me we need to establish some common sense guardrails. To be clear and honest where we disagree, and work together where interests intersect, especially on vital global issues like climate change.”

“(W)e believe – and you and I have talked about this – all countries have to play by the same rules of the road, and why the United States is always going to stand up for our interests and values and those of our allies and partners.”

“Today, I’m sure we’ll be discussing those areas where we have concerns, from human rights to economics, to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

XI JINPING, though an interpreter:

“It’s good to see you Mr. President. It’s the first time for us to meet virtually. Although it’s not as good as a face-to-face meeting, I’m very happy to see my old friend.”

“Right now both China and the United States are at critical stages of development … and we face multiple challenges together. As the world’s two largest economies and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation.”

​ “We should each run our domestic affairs well and at the same time, shoulder our share of international responsibilities and work together for the most noble cause of world peace and development.”

​ “A sound Chinese-U.S. relationship is required for advancing our two countries’ respective development and for safeguarding a peaceful and stable international environment, including finding effective responses to global challenges, such as climate change …. and the COVID pandemic.”

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Eric Beech and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Heather Timmons and Michael Perry)