Biden and China's Xi met in Bali. This is what they talked about President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a high-stakes face-to-face meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Biden and China's Xi met for three hours. Here's what they talked about

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In a hotel ballroom in Bali, Indonesia, today, the leaders of two superpowers sat down to talk - President Biden and President Xi Jinping of China. They had a whole slate of difficult issues between their countries to work through. Relations have been fraught. But Biden told reporters this meeting today helped open up lines of communication.


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We're not going to be able to work everything out. And I'm not suggesting that it's going to - this is "Kumbaya." You know, everybody is going to go away with everything in agreement. But I do not believe there's a need for concern of a, as one of you raised the legitimate question, a new cold war.

KELLY: NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez was there in Bali. He joins us now. Hey, Franco.


KELLY: So I know President Xi and President Biden have spoken several times since Biden took over as president, but this was their first face-to-face meeting in a long time, right? What was it like inside the room?

ORDOÑEZ: I mean, there was a lot of energy from the staff all the way to the leaders. And the leaders, they were smiling, and they looked happy to see each other as they shook hands. You know, they walked into a large ballroom together and sat down across from each other at these long tables. And the tables were probably spaced about 12 feet apart, each flanked by their top advisers. And both of them said that they wanted to find ways to address their differences. Here's President Xi speaking through a translator.


PRESIDENT XI JINPING: (Through interpreter) In our meeting today, I'm ready to have a candid - as we always did, have a candid and in-depth exchange of views with you on issues of strategic importance in China-U.S. relations and on major global and regional issues.

ORDOÑEZ: Now, the meeting lasted for about three hours. There were no big breakthroughs or joint statements afterward. And the White House has said ahead of the meeting that they weren't expecting that. But, you know, they did agree to keep talking. And Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China to follow up.

KELLY: OK, So they agreed to keep talking. I suppose one of the thorniest issues they need to talk about is the status of Taiwan, which China claims the self-governed island as its own. President Biden has said in the past that he is prepared to defend Taiwan if it comes to that. What did he have to say on that today?

ORDOÑEZ: Well, Biden told reporters that the two leaders had an, quote, "open and candid conversation" about their intentions and priorities. And he said he wants to see issues resolved peacefully, and he does think that can be done.


BIDEN: I do not think there's any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan. And I made it clear that our policy on Taiwan has not changed at all.

ORDOÑEZ: But there is concern, Mary Louise, in China about what Biden has said in the past about defending Taiwan. And after the meeting today, a spokeswoman for the Chinese government said that, quote, "instead of talking in one way and acting in another, the United States needs to honor its commitments with concrete action."

KELLY: Franco, what about Russia? Did Russia come up? Did they talk about the war in Ukraine?

ORDOÑEZ: Yeah. The White House says that Biden brought up the war. Officials say they agreed that they were both opposed to the, quote, "use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine." And this is important because China has maintained a working relationship with Russia during this conflict. So Beijing is indicating its disapproval of past comments Russian President Vladimir Putin has made about nuclear weapons. Biden has also said he talked to Xi about North Korea's nuclear tests, and he warned that the U.S. would need to take more defensive actions if there are more nuclear tests. Biden said he wants Xi to make it clear to North Korea that they should not engage in long-range nuclear tests.

KELLY: That is NPR's Franco Ordoñez reporting today from Bali. Thank you so much.

ORDOÑEZ: Thanks, Mary Louise.

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