President Xi Jinping says China and the United States must “find ways to get along” to safeguard world peace and development, state media reported.
The Chinese leader’s conciliatory words follow after months of tension between Washington and Beijing over what the US views as China’s increasingly aggressive stance towards Taiwan, and Beijing’s refusal to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Xi, who secured a third term as Chinese leader on Sunday, has rebuked what he termed “foreign interference” in Taiwan and said China would never renounce the right to use force to unite the island with the mainland.
“The world today is neither peaceful nor tranquil,” Xi wrote in a congratulatory letter to the annual gala of the National Committee on US-China Relations, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported on Thursday.
“As major powers, strengthening communication and cooperation between China and the US will help to increase global stability and certainty, and promote world peace and development,” Xi said in his message to the New York-based non-profit organisation.
Xi added that China was “willing to work with the US to give mutual respect, coexist peacefully… (and) find ways to get along in the new era”.
Doing so “will not only be good for both countries, but also benefit the world”, Xi wrote.
President Joe Biden’s administration said this month that China is the only US competitor “with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to advance that objective”.
During a meeting with his defence officials on Wednesday, Biden said the US does not seek conflict with China and President Xi was aware of that fact, according to the Associated Press.
Biden said that he had spent more time speaking to Xi than other world leaders dating back to when he was vice president and that the US would “responsibly manage increasingly intense competition with China” and in the Indo-Pacific region also “build new coalitions committed to a world that is free”.
“We must maintain, as I said, our military advantage. But we’re making it clear that we don’t seek conflict,” Biden said.