sharm el sheikh, egypt
President Joe Biden is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, the first time the two have met since Mr. Biden took office and provides an opportunity to clarify the world’s most important bilateral relationship.
“The two leaders will maintain and deepen communication between the United States and China, manage competition responsibly, and cooperate where their interests are aligned, especially on transnational issues affecting the international community. The two leaders will also discuss various regional and global issues,” White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
US officials are sitting on the sidelines at the G20 summit in Bali, without even hopes of major deliverables or a significant easing of tensions.
But they hope Biden can stay out of conflict and “lay the groundwork” for a functional relationship that allows for productive cooperation on areas such as climate change and North Korea.
“I just don’t think the two leaders can sit down and settle all their differences and issues,” said a senior government official. “But I think we believe some of these steps can be important along the way.”
Instead of learning an important lesson, U.S. officials hope to at least reach a mutual understanding of where the two leaders see relations between the world’s biggest economies. Officials said the talks would be “in-depth” and “substantial.”
“One of the main objectives is to develop a better understanding of each other’s priorities and intentions where possible, with the goal of reducing misunderstandings and misunderstandings,” the official said.
The discussion will share the leaders’ respective views on US-China relations, which have deteriorated in recent months after Beijing’s furious reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. .
China has since cut off most of its official channels of communication with the United States, but there has been enough contact to arrange a meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping. At those meetings, US and Chinese officials discussed reestablishing communications.
Biden and Xi Jinping have spoken on the phone five times since the president entered the White House. Together they traveled extensively during their time as vice presidents of China and the United States.
Both will attend Monday’s meeting against the backdrop of important political events. Mr. Biden performed better than expected in the US midterm elections, and Mr. Xi Jinping was elevated to an unprecedented third term by the Chinese Communist Party.
U.S. officials declined to speculate on how the political climate between the two leaders would affect the dynamics of the meeting.
This includes the Taiwan issue as claimed by Beijing. Biden has vowed in the past to use the U.S. military to defend the island from Chinese aggression. The issue is he one of the most contentious between Biden and Xi Jinping.
Biden will also raise human rights issues, the official said. The United States has accused China of genocide against the Muslim minority in western Xinjiang.
Biden will also bring up what the US sees as China’s harmful economic practices. It is unclear whether the negotiations will raise the issue of US tariffs on Chinese goods.
The president will also discuss areas where the two countries can work together, such as climate change.
And he raises the question of Russia’s war in Ukraine and North Korea’s ongoing provocations.
The official did not specify what Mr. Biden’s message on North Korea would be and said he did not want China to know Biden’s points in advance.