Interview: Xi-Biden video call matters to China-U.S. relations -- pundit

By Sun Ding, Hu Yousong (Xinhua) 09:27, March 23, 2022

 WASHINGTON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The latest video call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden is "important," as the dialogue matters to the management of the China-U.S. relationship, an American pundit has said.

"Dialogue at the leader-to-leader level is very important. Dialogue at other levels of the government is very important," Neysun A. Mahboubi, a research scholar of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania, told Xinhua in a recent virtual interview. "We're seeing that happening."

On Friday, Xi and Biden had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on China-U.S. relations, the situation in Ukraine, and other issues of mutual interest. The two presidents, agreeing that the video call is constructive, directed their teams to promptly follow up and take concrete actions to put China-U.S. relations back on the track of steady development.

"There is already a narrative about how U.S. and Chinese administrations have been engaged in dialogue since the change of administration here in the United States," Mahboubi said.

"I think for those of us who are looking closely, we do see there's been this runway of more and more productive dialogue," he said, describing the online interaction between the two heads of state on Friday as "part of that trend of dialogue."

Besides, Mahboubi said that dialogue and exchanges among scholars, students, and businesses have been "an enormously important ballast" in China-U.S. relations.

The expert mentioned that he and his colleagues used to travel to China multiple times a year for academic exchanges before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that "I would like to go to China," which is "beneficial to my work and my research."

"And I miss my friends in China," the scholar added, noting that bilateral exchanges have brought "a lot of value" to the people of the two sides.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the "Shanghai Communique," a historic document that became a key political foundation for the two countries to establish diplomatic ties.

Fifty years on, the U.S.-China relationship has once again come to a critical time. How this relationship develops will shape the world in the 21st century, Biden said in the video call with Xi.

The Chinese president underscored that there have been and will continue to be differences between China and the United States. "What matters is to keep such differences under control. A steadily growing relationship is in the interest of both sides," Xi added.

Mahboubi said "We know that the interests on both sides and the values and the priorities will always be different but enough of common ground can be reached that the relationship can remain stable," adding that "That's the best I think we can hope for." 

(Web editor: Peng yukai, Liang Jun)


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