Beijing, Feb 11–Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday exchanged greetings on the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

In a phone conversation between the two leaders, Biden extended greetings to the Chinese people and wished the Chinese people happiness and good fortune in the New Year.

Xi once again congratulated Biden on his inauguration as U.S. president, and wished the Chinese and American people a happy and auspicious Year of the Ox. 

The call on Thursday in Asia, but Wednesday in Washington, was the first since Biden took office and comes as Beijing and Washington clash over issues from trade, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, Taiwan and reports of human rights crimes against Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

Xi reiterated during the call that cooperation was the only choice and that the two countries need to properly manage disputes in a constructive manner, according to an account of the conversation reported by Chinese state television.

He also said Beijing and Washington should re-establish various mechanisms for dialogue in order to understand each other’s intentions and avoid misunderstandings, the report said.

Xi also told Biden that he hopes the US will cautiously handle matters related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang that deal with matters of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to an account of the discussions reported by Chinese state television on Thursday.


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