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China will not fight a war with any country, Xi says

FRIENDS AGAIN? US President Joe Biden (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after a meeting during the APEC Leaders’ Week in Woodside, California on Wednesday. The leaders of the world’s largest economies talked for at least three hours at the Filoli country estate on the city’s outskirts. AFP

San Francisco—China will not begin armed conflict with any nation, President Xi Jinping said after a high-stakes summit with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

“China does not seek spheres of influence and will not fight a cold or hot war with any country,” he told a gathering of business leaders in San Francisco.

China, the world’s second largest economy, has benefitted from the US-dominated global order, he said, adding that good relations between the two countries were vital for both sides.

“I believe that once the door to China-US relations is opened, it will not be closed again,” he said.

Biden and Xi agreed at their summit in California to rejuvenate a relationship that has struggled in recent years and to bolster direct communications between the two men.

Xi said China wanted to continue to improve its ties with Washington and assured his US hosts that his country did not seek confrontation with anyone.

“The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation cannot be achieved without a peaceful and stable international environment,” Xi said.

“We will never revert to the beaten path of war, colonization, plundering or coercion in pursuing modernization.”

However, China condemned Biden’s description of Xi as a dictator as “extremely wrong”, after the two leaders wrapped up a summit in California.

Asked about Biden’s remarks, foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said: “This kind of speech is extremely wrong and is irresponsible political manipulation. China firmly opposes it.”

“I need to point out that there are always some people with ulteriormotives attempting to sow discord and wreck China-US relations, and this too will not succeed,” she added.

Asked to clarify who she was referring to, Mao demurred, saying: “Ithink whoever is trying to undermine and sow discord between China and the United States knows it.”

Biden and Xi agreed at their first summit in a year on Wednesday to restore military communications between the two countries.

They also agreed, among other things, that China would crack down on the production of ingredients for fentanyl, responsible for a deadly epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States.

But speaking after his meeting with Xi on Wednesday, Biden told journalists he still considers the Chinese president a “dictator”.

He had sparked fury from Beijing by making the comparison earlier this year.

“Well look he is, I mean he’s a dictator in the sense that he’s a guy who’s running a country, a Communist country, that’s based on a form of government totally different than ours,” Biden said. AFP

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