Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomenewsBiden and Xi to meet on Wednesday, White House says

Biden and Xi to meet on Wednesday, White House says

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will meet on Wednesday in the United States, the White House has confirmed.

The meeting in California, the first between the leaders of the world’s two biggest economies in a year, will include talks on trade, Taiwan and managing their tense relations.

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Xi plans to visit the US from Tuesday through November 17, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday. He will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco and is scheduled to meet with Biden on the sidelines.

Xi and Biden have not met since attending the G20 summit in Bali last year.

Biden administration officials who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity said the two presidents would meet in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thousands of protesters are expected to descend on San Francisco during the summit, which kicks off on Saturday.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement the leaders would discuss the “continued importance of maintaining open lines of communication” and how they “can continue to responsibly manage competition and work together where our interests align, particularly on transnational challenges that affect the international community”.

The meeting is not expected to lead to many, if any, major announcements.

“Nothing will be held back. Everything is on the table,” a US official told reporters.

 

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng met on Thursday in San Francisco, the latest in a string of senior level engagements between the countries in recent months aimed at easing tensions. Yellen and He are set to continue talks on Friday.

In September, the US and China launched new economic and financial working groups to enhance communication on issues of mutual interest, a move Yellen, who visited China in July, called “an important step forward in our bilateral relationship”.

But differences between the two sides have sharpened over the past year with Biden ordering a suspected Chinese spy balloon to be shot down after it traversed the continental United States and Chinese anger over a stopover in the US by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen this year, among other issues.

China claims the island of 23 million people as its territory. Taiwan is to hold elections in January, an event that typically draws an angry response from Beijing.

Beijing has historically tried to influence the results through a range of tactics from online misinformation campaigns to staging military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, an overt reminder that it has not ruled out trying to take the island by force.

Biden and Xi are also expected to discuss the Israel-Hamas war, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the presidential election in Taiwan.

China has said it is neutral in the Ukraine war but has been accused of propping up Russia’s economy in the face of Western sanctions.

China and the US also have disputes in areas such as trade and technology.

Last year, the US introduced a series of export controls meant to hobble China’s growing microchip industry. That move prompted accusations from Chinese officials that Washington is seeking to maintain the power and influence of its tech industry by working to “maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies”.

Biden is also likely to press Xi on using China’s influence on North Korea during heightened anxiety over an increased pace of ballistic missile tests by North Korea as well as Pyongyang providing munitions to Russia for its war in Ukraine.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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