U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met Monday in Bali on Nov. 14, 2022.
Saul Loeb | Afp | Getty Images

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met Monday in person for the first time since Biden took office.

“We need to chart the right course for the China-U.S. relationship,” Xi said at the opening of the meeting in Mandarin, according an official English translation broadcast.

“We need to find the right direction for the bilateral relationship going forward and elevate the relationship.”

Xi emphasized the need to learn from history, using it “as a mirror” to “guide the future,” according to a release from China’s Foreign Ministry. He said the bilateral relationship is not in a situation that’s in the interest of the two countries’ peoples, and isn’t what the international community expects.

The meeting took place in Bali, a day before the G-20 summit is due to kick off.

The U.S. and China can manage their differences and stop competition from turning into conflict, Biden said, according to Reuters. A readout of Biden’s remarks wasn’t immediately available.

The two leaders held a videoconference in Nov. 2021 and, among other communication, had a call in late July.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated over the last several years, touching flashpoints ranging from Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, to the ability of American companies to sell high-end tech to Chinese businesses.

Each president was accompanied by nine government officials.

Representatives for the U.S. side included Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns.

Accompanying Xi were Ding Xuexiang, one of the new members of China’s highest circle of power, and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying also attended.