Joe Biden, Xi Jinping to discuss US-China relations during virtual meet on November 15

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Image source: AP

This composite image shows US President Joe Biden in Washington, DC on November 6, 2021, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019.

President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a highly anticipated virtual summit Monday night as both sides seek to ease tensions after a rough start in US-China relations since Biden took office earlier this year.

White House has low expectations for video call between leaders. Biden is trying to emphasize that both countries need to establish a fence in the deepening areas of conflict in the increasingly complex relationship between the two countries. Representatives of the White House said that no serious statements were expected following the meeting.

“The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage competition between the US and the PRC and how to work together where our interests coincide,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement on the timing of the summit. referring to the People’s Republic of China. “Throughout, President Biden will be clear about US intentions and priorities and will be clear and frank about our concerns.”

The meeting will be the third meeting of the leaders of the two countries since February. It comes after the US and China this week at the UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, pledged to expand their cooperation and accelerate action to curb climate-damaging emissions.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Senior Chinese Foreign Policy Adviser Yang Jiechi agreed to hold a virtual Biden-Xi summit before the end of the year when they met last month for talks in Zurich, but both sides were undecided on a date.

The virtual meeting was proposed after Biden, who spent a significant amount of time with Xi when they were vice presidents, mentioned during a September phone call with the Chinese leader that he would like to see Xi again, White said. House.

Xi did not leave China during the coronavirus pandemic. White House officials have proposed the virtual summit as the best replacement for the two leaders to substantively discuss a range of issues that are creating tensions between the US and China.

“We hope the US will work with China to work together to make the leaders’ summit a success and put China-US ties back on the right path to healthy and stable development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday.

There has been no shortage of tension in the relationship in recent months, as Biden has made it clear that he sees Beijing’s actions on a number of fronts as alarming.

The president criticized China for human rights violations against ethnic minorities in northwest China, suppressing pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong and resisting global pressure to fully cooperate with investigations into the causes of the coronavirus pandemic. Tensions have also escalated in recent years as the Chinese military flew dozens of aircraft overflights near the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.

Biden at the G-20 meeting in Rome and again at the UN climate meeting criticized Xi for failing to attend summits where world leaders discussed next steps to combat the pandemic and steps to mitigate the impact of climate change.

“To be honest, I think it was a big mistake for China … not to show up,” Biden said in Glasgow. “The rest of the world will look at China and ask, what added value have they brought in?”

The two leaders attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) virtual meeting on Friday, where the leaders discussed efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic and support the global economic recovery.

Read also: EXPLANATOR: How Power and Ideology Determine the Rise of Xi in China

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