White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet “at some point” as tensions between the two countries continue to rise.
During an appearance on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” host Fareed Zakaria asked Sullivan if he agrees with recent comments made by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who told The Economist that U.S.-China relations were “in the classic pre-World War One situation where neither side” knows that they don’t have any political room to make any concessions on the matter.
“I sat in the room with President Biden when he met with President Xi in Bali last year, and that was not my experience,” Sullivan told Zakaria, adding that the two world leaders tried to reach an understanding.
“And the desire on both parts to put a floor under the relationship, to manage the competition responsibly, to ensure that competition does not become conflict,” Sullivan added. “And there are a number of different elements to that. But one of the key ones is that as we have intense competition, we also have intense diplomacy.”
Sullivan also told Zakaria that he just met with his Chinese counterpart, the director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi, where both diplomats discussed “all of the strategic issues” in their ongoing relationship, adding that he hopes to see discussions between the two countries continue in the coming months.
“And then, at some point, we will see President Biden and President Xi come back together again. So as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing inconsistent with, on the one hand, competing vigorously in important domains on economics and technology, and also ensuring that that competition does not veer into conflict or confrontation. That is the firm conviction of President Biden. That is how he will responsibly manage this relationship,” Sullivan said. “And we believe there is nothing inevitable about some kind of conflict or cold war between the U.S. and China.”
Tensions between the U.S. and China have heightened over the years. U.S. officials earlier this year raised concerns that China could give Russia lethal aid during its ongoing war with Ukraine.