Biden and Xi Jinping discuss how to “unify” positions on the Iranian nuclear issue | Wall Street Journal Political News


A senior US official said on Tuesday that US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed how to coordinate their positions in negotiations with Iran to restart the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Officials from Iran and the six countries that signed the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States — will meet in Vienna on November 29 to see if Tehran and Washington can agree to reopen the indirection regarding the United Nations. negotiation. A recognized agreement under which Iran curbs its nuclear program to get rid of Western economic sanctions.

On Tuesday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told a virtual audience at an online event hosted by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.: “The two presidents have the opportunity to discuss how we can adjust our views before the meeting.”

The Iran nuclear talks are just one of a series of issues facing the United States and China that Biden and Xi Jinping discussed within three and a half hours on November 15. This is Biden’s deepest exchange since he took office as the US president in January. The two are involved in Taiwan’s tensions, strategic nuclear control and global economic issues.

The screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping in a virtual meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden via a video link in a restaurant in Beijing, China, on November 16. [Tingshu Wang/Reuters]

On the Iran issue, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the UN-approved agreement in 2018 and resumed severe economic sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to restart its nuclear capabilities a year later.

The US-Iran talks in Vienna were indirect, and officials from other countries shuttled between them. Iran refuses to have direct contact with U.S. officials.

Although China is in favor of resuming the agreement, it has shifted the responsibility for renewing the agreement to the United States instead of Iran, and accused Washington of abandoning the agreement. Despite US sanctions, China has provided Tehran with an economic lifeline by purchasing Iranian oil.

Biden said in a speech in New Hampshire on Tuesday that he and Xi Jinping had a “very good meeting” and that the United States and China still have a lot of follow-up work to do on a series of issues. Biden said that he made it clear to Xi Jinping that the United States supports Taiwan and hopes to see China’s peaceful diplomatic solution to the island.

A statement issued by China at the meeting said that Xi Jinping blamed the tension on Taiwan, which sought US support to achieve independence, and some people in the US who used Taiwan to contain China.

“Such actions are extremely dangerous, just like playing with fire. People who play with fire will be burned to death,” the statement said.

Sullivan said that Biden and Xi Jinping agreed at their virtual meeting to study the possibility of arms control negotiations. Sullivan said when referring to US concerns about China’s nuclear missile construction, the leaders of the two countries agreed to “look forward to starting discussions on strategic stability.”

Sullivan said in a webinar at the Brookings Institution: “You will see increased participation on multiple levels to ensure that there is a guardrail in this competition so that it does not turn to conflict.”

The screen shows the official media broadcast of China Central Television at the virtual summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden in Beijing, China [Thomas Peter/Reuters]

The United States has repeatedly urged China to join its new arms control treaty with Russia. Beijing pointed out that the arsenals of the other two countries pale in comparison, but said that China is ready to engage in bilateral dialogues on strategic security issues.

No breakthrough is expected at the conference. Instead, US officials see it as an opportunity to set parameters around the increasingly troubled relationship between the two powers.

Analysts praised Xi Jinping’s meeting with Biden as the beginning of an improvement in US-China relations.

Bruce Jones, a senior foreign policy researcher at the Brookings Institution, described the overall relationship as “quite bad” and stated that “the rate of deterioration exceeds the rate of diplomacy.”

“It is one thing to engage in a continuous arms race or to balance China’s military build-up in the Western Pacific. But it is another thing to prevent this from turning into unfounded or unnecessary conflicts and crises,” Jones told The Associated Press.

Last week, the two countries pledged to accelerate action to control climate-damaging emissions in the UN climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland.

After the meeting between Xi Jinping and Biden, Chinese state media quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry source as saying that the two sides will relax restrictions on the entry of reporters from each other’s country.

“China Daily” stated that a consensus was reached on issues such as journalists’ visas before the virtual meeting. The US State Department stated that China has promised to issue visas to a group of eligible American journalists.

Wang Huiyao, chairman of the Beijing Think Tank Center for China and Globalization, said the meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping sent a “positive signal.”

“What I hope this summit can do, and what will happen in the next 12 months or more, is that we suddenly saw a turning point,” Huiyao told The Associated Press.

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