Biden meets Li Qiang, says China economic ‘crisis’ makes Taiwan invasion less likely

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U.S. President Joe Biden disclosed on Sunday that he engaged in the most significant talks with Chinese leadership in months. He also emphasized that China’s economic challenges would not prompt an invasion of Taiwan.

Biden revealed that he met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, the second-ranking official in China’s government, during the annual G20 summit in New Delhi. This encounter marked the highest-level meeting between the two nations in almost 10 months, since Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held discussions at last year’s G20 gathering in Indonesia.

Li, who assumed the role of premier in March, attended the summit in place of President Xi. While formal talks between the two leaders were not expected at the G20, impromptu interactions during such gatherings are not uncommon.

Biden told reporters, “My team, my staff still meets with President Xi’s people and his cabinet. I met with his No.2 person in India today.” He added that their discussions centered on stability and the Southern Hemisphere and were not confrontational in nature.

The White House also confirmed that Biden had a meeting with a Chinese leader during the summit.

This year, the two global powers have been working to improve their relations following a dispute over a suspected Chinese spy balloon that drifted over U.S. territory. Concurrently, concerns have arisen in Beijing about an economic slowdown.

During a press conference in Vietnam, Biden highlighted the strength of the U.S. economy on a global scale. He mentioned that China’s economic growth had been slowing due to a weak global economy and certain Chinese policies, although he did not specify which policies.

Biden characterized China’s economic situation as a “crisis,” citing challenges in the real estate sector and high youth unemployment. He also hinted at issues with one of the key economic strategies pursued by President Xi but did not provide further details, stating, “One of the major economic tenets of his plan isn’t working at all right now. I’m not happy for that, but it’s not working.”

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