Xi says 'critical' to reset US ties after 'serious difficulties'

(FILES) In this file combination of pictures created on June 8, 2021 shows Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) during a welcome ceremony for Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev in Beijing on July 3, 2019; and US President Joe Biden speaking at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 17, 2021.

Beijing, China | Chinese President Xi Jinping told his American counterpart that US policies towards Beijing have caused "serious difficulties" and that putting ties back on track was critical "to the destiny of the world", state media reported Friday.

Ties between Beijing and Washington have been strained in recent years by a bruising trade war and America's tough stand on China's human rights track record -- while competition over tech dominance and disputes over the origins of the coronavirus have further sullied relations.

In "candid, in-depth" talks with Biden, Xi warned that confrontation between the world's top economies "would spell disaster for both countries and the world".

"Whether China and the US can properly handle their relations... is critical for the future and destiny of the world," state broadcaster CCTV said citing Xi.  

"And this is a question of the century that both countries must answer," he said.

It was the first call between the two leaders in seven months.  

Xi stressed that the two sides should continue their dialogue on climate change, epidemic prevention and the global economic recovery, while "respecting our differences".

"China-US relations are not a multiple-choice question involving whether or not to do a good job," Xi said.

It is "a must-answer question on how to do a good job".

© Agence France-Presse

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