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Xi has candid, in-depth exchange of views with Biden

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Chinese President Xi Jinping had a video call with U.S. President Joe Biden at the request of the latter on Friday. The two Presidents had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on China-U.S. relations, the situation in Ukraine, and other issues of mutual interest.

President Biden said that 50 years ago, the United States and China made the important choice of issuing the Shanghai Communique. Fifty years on, the U.S.-China relationship has once again come to a critical time. How this relationship develops will shape the world in the 21st century.

He reiterated that the U.S. does not seek a new Cold War with China; it does not aim to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; the U.S. does not support “Taiwan independence”; and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China.

The U.S. is ready to have candid dialogue and closer cooperation with China, stay committed to the one-China policy, and effectively manage competition and disagreements to ensure the steady growth of the relationship, said President Biden.

He also expressed readiness to stay in close touch with President Xi to set the direction for the U.S.-China relationship.

Noting the international landscape has experienced new major developments since their first virtual meeting last November, Xi said the prevailing trend of peace and development is facing serious challenges, and the world is neither tranquil nor stable.

As permanent members of the UN Security Council and the world’s two leading economies, China and the U.S. must not only guide their relations forward along the right track, but also shoulder their share of international responsibilities and work for world peace and tranquility, Xi said.

Xi stressed that he and President Biden share the view that China and the U.S. need to respect each other, coexist in peace and avoid confrontation, and that the two sides should increase communication and dialogue at all levels and in all fields.

President Biden has just reiterated that the U.S. does not seek to have a new Cold War with China, to change China’s system, or to revitalize alliances against China, and that the U.S. does not support “Taiwan independence” or intend to seek a conflict with China, Xi said. “I take these remarks very seriously.”

Xi pointed out the China-U.S. relationship, instead of getting out of the predicament created by the previous U.S. administration, has encountered a growing number of challenges. What’s worth noting in particular is that some people in the U.S. have sent a wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces, Xi said, adding “this is very dangerous.”

Mishandling of the Taiwan question will have a disruptive impact on the bilateral ties, said Xi. “China hopes that the U.S. will give due attention to this issue.”

The direct cause for the current situation in the China-U.S. relationship is that some people on the U.S. side have not followed through on the important common understanding reached by the two Presidents and have not acted on President Biden’s positive statements. The U.S. has misperceived and miscalculated China’s strategic intention, Xi said.

Xi underscored that there have been and will continue to be differences between China and the U.S. “What matters is to keep such differences under control. A steadily growing relationship is in the interest of both sides,” he added.

The two sides exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine.

President Biden expounded on the U.S. position, and expressed readiness for communication with China to prevent the situation from exacerbating.

“China does not want to see the situation in Ukraine to come to this. China stands for peace and opposes war. This is embedded in China’s history and culture,” Xi said.

China makes a conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter, advocates upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations, and adheres to the UN Charter and promotes the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These are the major principles that underpin China’s approach to the Ukraine crisis, Xi said.

Noting that China has put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Xi said China is ready to provide further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other affected countries.

“All sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace,” Xi said, adding that the U.S. and NATO should also have dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.

Xi stressed that with the need to fight COVID-19 on the one hand and protect the economy and people’s livelihood on the other, things are already very difficult for countries around the world.

“As leaders of major countries, we need to think about how to properly address global hotspot issues and, more importantly, keep in mind global stability and the work and life of billions of people,” Xi said.

Sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions would only make the people suffer. If further escalated, they could trigger serious crises in global economy and trade, finance, energy, food, and industrial and supply chains, crippling the already languishing world economy and causing irrevocable losses, Xi added.

“The more complex the situation, the greater the need to remain cool-headed and rational,” Xi said, adding that whatever the circumstances, there is always a need for political courage to create space for peace and leave room for political settlement.

“As two Chinese sayings go, ‘It takes two hands to clap.’ ‘He who tied the bell to the tiger must take it off.’ It is imperative that the parties involved demonstrate political will and find a proper settlement in view of both immediate and long-term needs,” Xi said.

Xi said other parties can and should create conditions to that end. The pressing priority is to keep the dialogue and negotiation going, avoid civilian casualties, prevent a humanitarian crisis, and cease hostilities as soon as possible.

He said an enduring solution would be for major countries to respect each other, reject the Cold War mentality, refrain from bloc confrontation, and build step by step a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture for the region and for the world.

“China has been doing its best for peace and will continue to play a constructive role,” Xi said.

Agreeing that the video call is constructive, the two Presidents directed their teams to promptly follow up and take concrete actions to put China-U.S. relations back on the track of steady development, and make respective efforts for the proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

Ding Xuexiang, Liu He and Wang Yi were present at the call.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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Maldives to experience rain nationwide on voting day

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Meteorological Center (MET Office) has reported Maldives will experience rainfall nationwide on Sunday, amid the parliamentary election.

MET Office on Saturday forecasts heavy rainfall accompanied with thunder from Laamu atoll to Addu atoll. The authority also forecasts rainfall from central parts to northern atolls as well.

The weather authority also reported that the winds speeds will be between 5 to 15 miles per hour nationwide.

Despite rainfall nationwide, the seas would not be rough to interrupt sea transportation, MET added.

With many already traveling to their home islands to cast vote in the parliamentary election, the government has already announced Monday, April 22nd will be a public holiday as well.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Middle East countries voice concern over military escalation after alleged Israeli attack on Iran

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Countries in the Middle East have voiced their concern over military escalation in the region after Israel on Friday allegedly struck sites near the city of Isfahan, central Iran, in what appeared to be its military response to Iran’s recent retaliatory attack.

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry called on the two sides to exercise the utmost restraint and to fully comply with the rules of international law and the UN Charter, warning against widening the conflict and instability in the region.

Egypt stressed that it will continue to intensify communications with all concerned and influential parties to contain the ongoing escalation and tension.

In addition, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the ministry “is constantly monitoring the tension in the region,” expressing its deep concern about the attack targeting Isfahan on Friday morning.

The ministry said that the escalation must not distract attention from the destruction and loss of innocent lives in the Gaza Strip, renewing its call on the international community to perform its duties and work to stop the suffering of the Palestinian people, according to the statement.

Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi on Friday stressed the need to reduce the dangerous escalation in the region and reiterated that “Jordan will not allow it to be turned into an arena of conflict between Iran and Israel and to endanger its security and the safety of its citizens.”

Safadi, who also serves as the Jordanian foreign minister, added on social media platform X that “the current escalation only serves to divert attention away from the Israeli aggression on Gaza, stopping which must be the priority.”

The Israeli attack came after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps confirmed Saturday that it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel in retaliation for earlier airstrikes by Israel on April 1 on the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital of Damascus, which killed seven Iranians.

So far, Israel has not officially acknowledged the strikes on Isfahan, while Iran has not publicly accused Israel of carrying them out.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned the Israeli strikes on Syrian military sites earlier in the day as a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty and a threat to regional stability.

In a statement, the ministry warned that such actions could escalate tensions in the region, potentially leading to a broader conflict, and urged the international community, including the UN Security Council, to condemn the attack and take decisive measures to halt the “crimes” committed by Israel.

In the early hours of Friday, the Israeli military launched a series of airstrikes targeting Syrian air defense sites in the southern region, according to the Syrian Defense Ministry. The strikes caused material losses, while no casualties were reported, it added.

The attack was also confirmed by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported that more than six Israeli aircraft were observed flying intensively in southern Syria.

The radar battalion responsible for monitoring the airspace, located in the east of Syria’s Daraa province, was targeted, the war monitor added.

Source(s): CGTN

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This is a golden opportunity to cooperate with a government: President

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu states this is a golden opportunity for a parliament that will cooperate with a government that wants to produce results.

Speaking at a meeting with Addu City constituents residing in Male’ City on Friday night, the President said his administration’s only focus is to produce results.

He described the upcoming parliament election as a golden opportunity for a parliament that will cooperate with a government that wants to produce results.

“My focus is on results, nothing else. It is results that the people want, is it not? The result of development and the result of stability, is that not what people have been wanting?” he questioned.

Speaking further, President Muizzu, underscoring the nation had not seen the desired number of changes in the past years, said his administration will not spend time on anything other than producing results.

“This is truly a golden opportunity. You are receiving a golden opportunity to pave the way for full cooperation necessary within the parliament to a government that is solely focused on producing results,” he said.

Citing the aforementioned reasons, he urged the public to vote for ruling PPM-PNC coalition’s candidates contesting in the parliamentary election slated for Sunday.

MDP has the largest number of candidates contesting this parliamentary election at 90 constituencies, followed by PPM-PNC coalition at 89 constituencies.

A total of 368 candidates are contesting for 93 constituencies.

Polling stations will be open from 8:00am to 5:30pm on Sunday; a decision made by the Elections Commission earlier today, which is undertaking final preparations for the election.

Source(s): sun.mv

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