Biden, Xi will meet Wednesday for talks on commerce, Taiwan and managing fraught U.S.-China relations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet Wednesday in California for talks on commerce, Taiwan and managing fraught U.S.-Chinese relations within the first engagement between the leaders of the world’s two greatest economies in practically a yr, Biden administration officers stated.

The White House has stated for weeks that it anticipated Biden and Xi would meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, however negotiations went right down to the eve of the gathering, which kicks off Saturday.

The officers, who briefed reporters on the situation of anonymity below floor guidelines set by the White House, stated Friday that the leaders would meet within the San Francisco Bay space however declined to supply additional particulars due to safety issues. Thousands of protesters are anticipated to descend on San Francisco throughout the summit.

The assembly just isn’t anticipated to result in many, if any, main bulletins, and variations between the 2 powers actually received’t be resolved. Instead, one official stated, Biden is wanting towards “managing the competition, preventing the downside risk of conflict and ensuring channels of communication are open.”

The agenda consists of no scarcity of adverse points.

Differences within the already difficult U.S.-Chinese relationship have solely sharpened within the final yr, with Beijing bristling over new U.S. export controls on superior know-how; Biden ordering the capturing down of a Chinese spy balloon after it traversed the continental United States; and Chinese anger over a stopover within the U.S. by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen earlier this yr, amongst different points. China claims the island as its territory.

Biden may also probably press Xi on utilizing 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.

The Democratic president is also expected to let Xi know that he would like China to use its burgeoning sway over Iran to make clear that Tehran or its proxies should not take action that could lead to expansion of the Israel-Hamas war. His administration believes the Chinese, a big buyer of Iranian oil, have considerable leverage with Iran, which is a major backer of Hamas.

Biden and Xi last met nearly a year ago on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. In the nearly three-hour meeting, Biden objected directly to China’s ”coercive and more and more aggressive actions” towards Taiwan and mentioned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and different points. Xi careworn that “the Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations.”

Next week’s assembly comes because the United States braces for a probably bumpy yr for U.S.-Chinese relations, with Taiwan set to carry a presidential election in January and the U.S. holding its personal presidential election subsequent November.

Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island’s decades-old de facto independence everlasting, a step U.S. leaders say they don’t assist. Under the “One China” coverage, the U.S. acknowledges Beijing as the federal government of China and doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, nevertheless it has maintained that Taipei is a vital accomplice within the Indo-Pacific. Biden intends to reaffirm the U.S. needs no change in the established order, one official stated.

Disinformation consultants testifying earlier than the Senate Intelligence Committee have warned that Beijing may purpose to focus on the U.S., sowing discord which may affect election outcomes on the native stage, particularly in districts with giant numbers of Chinese-American voters.

The Biden administration has sought to clarify to the Chinese that any actions or interference within the 2024 election “would raise extremely strong concerns from our side,” in line with one official.

The officers additionally famous that Biden is set to revive military-to-military communications that Beijing largely withdrew from after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan in August 2022.

All the whereas, the variety of unsafe or provocative encounters involving the 2 nations’ ships and plane have spiked.

Last month, the U.S. navy launched a video of a Chinese fighter jet flying inside 10 toes (3 meters) of an American B-52 bomber over the South China Sea, practically inflicting an accident. Earlier that month, the Pentagon launched footage of a few of the greater than 180 intercepts of U.S. warplanes by Chinese plane that occurred within the final two years, a part of a pattern U.S. navy officers name regarding.

The Pentagon has warned that the shortage of military-to-military contacts “raises the risk of an operational incident or miscalculation spiraling into crisis or conflict.”

The officers additionally stated Biden would underscore U.S. dedication to the Philippines, following a current episode during which Chinese ships blocked and collided with two Filipino vessels off a contested shoal within the South China Sea.

The Philippines and different neighbors of China are resisting Beijing’s sweeping territorial claims over just about all the sea.

“I want to be very clear,” Biden stated in October. “The United States’ defense commitment to the Philippines is iron clad.”

Both sides gave the impression to be rigorously contemplating safety for the assembly, declining to publicize the venue of the much-anticipated talks.

Thousands of individuals protesting local weather destruction, company practices, the Israel-Hamas warfare and different points are anticipated to descend on San Francisco throughout the summit.

San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott stated his division expects a number of protests a day however doesn’t know which of them will materialize the place and when. He stated town respects individuals’s proper to mobilize peacefully however is not going to tolerate property destruction, violence or some other crime.


Associated Press author Janie Har in San Francisco contributed reporting.

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