Despite frosty talks, Joe Biden good for US-China ties, says ex-defence secretary

China and US top diplomats clashed publicly in their opening remarks at a meeting in Alaska this week.
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then US vice president Joe Biden in Beijing on December 4, 2013. (Reuters file)
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then US vice president Joe Biden in Beijing on December 4, 2013. (Reuters file)
Published on Mar 20, 2021 02:39 PM IST
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Reuters | , Beijing

US President Joe Biden "will be good for the relationship" between China and the United States, even though both sides might have "started a little on frosty side", former US Secretary of Defence William Cohen told a Beijing forum.

Speaking via video link to the China Development Forum, Cohen, who has known Biden since 1972, said US engagement with China will be more professional, diplomatic and civil under Biden, as compared to the name-calling during Trump era.

China and US top diplomats clashed publicly in their opening remarks at a meeting in Alaska this week, which ended hours before the forum in Beijing on Saturday, leading some observers to worry relations could be even worse than during the previous Trump administration, which saw ties sink to a historic low since diplomatic relations were established.

The private Alaska talks actually went better than what was displayed in public, David Rubenstein, a former U.S. government policy advisor and co-founder of Carlyle Group, told the forum.

But he does not expect a meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping within a year.

"That's a good thing," he said.

"Because this means they're working behind the scenes to make certain when the summit occurs, there will be something productive occurring at that summit," he said.

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Thursday, December 09, 2021