- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 7, 2021

President Biden said Chinese President Xi Jinping is very aware that there’s a new sheriff in town in the U.S., as Mr. Biden vowed to turn the page on how former President Donald Trump handled relations with China.

In an interview that aired Sunday, Mr. Biden said there’s been no “occasion” to speak to Mr. Xi since the inauguration but that the two men know where they stand on major issues anyway.

“I’m not going to do it. He knows this because he’s sending signals as well — that I’m not going to do it the way Trump did,” Mr. Biden said on CBS. “We’re going to focus on international rules of the road.”

Mr. Biden estimated that he spent about 24 hours with Mr. Xi in private meetings during his eight years as vice president, calling him “very bright” and “very tough.”

“He doesn’t have — I don’t mean as a criticism, just a reality — he doesn’t have a democratic, small ‘d’ bone in his body,” Mr. Biden said. “The question is, and I’ve said to him all along, that we need not have a conflict but there’s going to be extreme competition.”

In a thinly veiled shot at Mr. Biden, Mr. Xi said last month at the World Economic Forum that the U.S. risks sparking a new Cold War if it tries to rally the world against Beijing.

“To build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruptions or sanctions, and to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation,” Mr. Xi said, according to China’s Global Times newspaper. “We cannot tackle common challenges in a divided world, and confrontation will lead us to a dead end.”

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