The New York TimesThe New York Times

As Xi befriends world leaders, he hardens his stance on the U.S.

By David Pierson

20 Apr 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

China's Xi has been offering a "glad hand" to world leaders while intensifying "a campaign of ridicule and criticism" of the U.S., rebuffing calls to restart high-level talks. The NYT reports.

China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, rolled out the red carpet for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, lauding him as “an old friend of the Chinese people.” He sipped tea in a garden with President Emmanuel Macron of France, treating him to a performance of an ancient Chinese zither. And he talked on the phone with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, offering well wishes for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

But even as Xi has offered a glad hand to those and other world leaders in recent weeks, it has been only the cold shoulder for the United States. China has rebuffed attempts by the Biden administration to restart high-level talks and lower tensions over Taiwan. And Xi’s government has intensified a campaign of ridicule and criticism of the United States and Western democracy.

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