Xi Jinping, Biden set to hold meeting in California

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Xi Jinping, Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to convene next week in the San Francisco Bay area, as disclosed by two senior administration officials.

This upcoming meeting on November 15th will mark only the second in-person encounter between the two leaders during President Biden’s tenure.

The discussions are expected to cover a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on issues such as the Israel-Hamas conflict, the situation in Taiwan, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and concerns related to election interference.

The relationship between the United States and China had experienced a deterioration earlier this year, characterized by events such as the US accusation of China deploying a spy balloon in American airspace, subsequently shot down off the coast of South Carolina.

“This is not the relationship of five or 10 years ago, we’re not talking about a long list of outcomes or deliverables,” one of the officials said.

“The goals here really are about managing the competition, preventing the downside of risk – of conflict, and ensuring channels of communication are open.”

Furthermore, China’s reaction to a visit to Taiwan by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year led to a breakdown in communication between the two nations’ militaries. The Biden administration is committed to restoring these crucial communication channels, although China appears to display reluctance in this regard.

An official emphasized that the current state of US-China relations is significantly different from that of five or ten years ago, and the primary objectives of the meeting revolve around managing competition, mitigating the risk of conflict, and ensuring open lines of communication.

This bilateral meeting is scheduled to coincide with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, hosted by the US in San Francisco from November 11 to 17.

US officials have consistently stressed the importance of re-establishing military dialogue in numerous discussions with their Chinese counterparts over the past year, albeit without notable progress.

The Chinese spy balloon incident remains a significant point of contention when discussing the resumption of military-to-military communication.

The Chinese spy balloon incident remains a significant point of contention when discussing the resumption of military-to-military communication.

The official noted, “I think the balloon episode underscored the difficulty we had at the time to be able to establish high-level, consequential communications with Beijing. And we’ve made that case persistently and consistently,” the official added.

In response to the February incident, Secretary of State Antony Blinken initially canceled a planned trip to Beijing, describing China’s actions as “unacceptable and irresponsible.”

However, the visit ultimately took place in June, during which Mr. Blinken engaged in a substantive conversation with President Xi.

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