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Thursday, July 18, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

Xi meeting in November ‘a possibility’, says Biden

Biden, Xi last met in 2022 on the sidelines of a G20 summit on Indonesia's resort island of Bali
US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022. Reuters
US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022. Reuters

The White House is working to arrange a face-to-face meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping next month in San Francisco, US officials say, but they and Biden warn that plans are still uncertain.

The take

The Biden team has been working for months to try to get the two leaders together as a centerpiece event during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in San Francisco from Nov 11 to 17.

But Biden and US officials cautioned that the time and location of a meeting and items for discussion have not been nailed down. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that plans for the San Francisco summit were “pretty firm.” “There is no such meeting set up, but it is a possibility,” Biden told reporters after making remarks about the US economy on Friday at the White House.

What’s at stake

US officials see a meeting as essential to help cool a relationship that has grown testy in recent years, with tensions rising over Taiwan and a Chinese military buildup in the South China Sea.

The Chinese cut off cross-military communications used to de-escalate conflict between the two countries after those ties were cut following an August 2022 visit by former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan that enraged China.

Relations further downward spiraled early this year when a Chinese balloon — which US officials called a sophisticated surveillance balloon — flew over the United States and was ultimately shot down by a US fighter jet.

Biden and Xi last met in 2022 on the sidelines of a G20 summit on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Biden climate envoy John Kerry have traveled to China this year seeking to thaw relations and ensure continued communication.

The potential for a Biden-Xi summit was among the topics of discussions when White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met in Malta last month with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Context

Biden and Xi last met in 2022 on the sidelines of a G20 summit on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Biden climate envoy John Kerry have traveled to China this year seeking to thaw relations and ensure continued communication.

The potential for a Biden-Xi summit was among the topics of discussions when White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met in Malta last month with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

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Joe Biden

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