Biden and Xi will seek to stabilize relations at meeting in California | ET REALITY


President Biden and President Xi Jinping of China plan to meet in California on Wednesday for a discussion that Biden advisers say is aimed at stabilizing relations even as it raises a host of issues on which the two fiercely competitive countries are not. OK.

The Biden administration, which formally announced the meeting on Friday morning, said the two leaders would hold a highly choreographed discussion while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, known as APEC.

In a call with reporters on Thursday, two senior Biden advisers said the meeting was intended to be wide-ranging, and that Biden was prepared to address issues such as Taiwan, election interference, the war in Ukraine and the war with Israel. and Hamas.

Taiwan, a self-governing island claimed by China, will hold elections early next year, and officials said Biden would seek to “present” Xi with “clarity,” meaning the United States hopes Beijing will not interfere. and he worries that she might do it. Biden is also expected to warn Xi not to interfere in the US elections.

The advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the meeting, did not provide details about their location, citing security concerns.

The meeting will take place almost a year to the day Biden and Xi met during the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, another rigidly planned diplomatic affair that took place amid fears about growing Chinese aggression toward Taiwan and strong competition. between Washington and Beijing on military and technological advances. The two have not spoken since and the past year has severely tested relationships.

A Chinese spy balloon that crossed the United States before a U.S. warplane shot it down off the coast of South Carolina sparked a diplomatic crisis in February. And more recently, tensions have flared over issues such as Chinese espionage and US restrictions on technology exports to China.

Tensions persist and will be addressed, Biden aides say, but this year, Chinese and U.S. officials have also emphasized the importance of strengthening ties between the world’s two largest economies. The Biden administration has already sent several top officials, including Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, to China this year to try to make clear that, if Although the United States wants to protect national security, it does not seek to break economic ties.

On Thursday, China’s ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, said in a video at a forum in Hong Kong that China wanted assurances that “the United States does not seek to change China’s system, does not seek a new Cold War, does not support Taiwan Independence and has no intention of seeking disengagement from China.”

“China-US relations still face serious challenges, and there is still a long way to go to stabilize and improve relations,” Xie said at the event, the Hong Kong Forum on US-China Relations.

Experts warned that the meeting between Biden and Xi should not be expected to produce progress on thorny issues such as China’s military aggression in Taiwan, US limits on sales of advanced semiconductors to China or US concerns about the record of Chinese human rights.

“There will be nothing that moves the relationship in a different direction,” said Oriana Skylar Mastro, a fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies at Stanford University.

Aside from the meeting with Biden, Xi is expected to spend much of his time in California showing American industry leaders that their country is open for business. After he and Biden meet, Xi is expected to speak with top executives from American companies at a $2,000-a-plate dinner, part of a “CEO Summit” that will be held on the sidelines of the main event.

Aside from trade and competition issues, Biden is expected to address the war in Gaza with Xi, officials said Thursday. Beijing has a warm trade and diplomatic relationship with Iran, a country that helps support Hamas and other militant groups in the Middle East, and Biden is expected to emphasize to Xi that the United States will respond to any expansion of the war. caused by Iran.

Biden will also be monitoring developments in Washington as he navigates the meeting with Xi and engagement in APEC, a group of 21 countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean. As long as Biden is on the West Coast, the federal government will inch closer to a shutdown.

So far, House Republicans have failed to unite around proposals to fund the government. White House officials have suggested that the president could shorten his trip if a Nov. 17 shutdown appears likely, but they publicly downplayed that idea on Thursday.

Asked about the possibility that the tumult in Washington would disrupt Biden’s trip, White House spokesman John F. Kirby told reporters: “Well, my goodness, we haven’t even loaded the luggage on the plane.” “.

Ana Swanson and Peter Panadero contributed reports.

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