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President Biden Will Hold Virtual Meeting With Chinese President Xi

President Biden Will Hold Virtual Meeting With Chinese President Xi

President Joe Biden will hold a virtual meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday, the White House said, furthering talks that Washington hopes will create some stability amid increased tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

It is expected to be the leaders’ most extensive meeting under the Biden administration and will be a follow-up to a telephone call between the two leaders that took place on September 9th. China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday the leaders would exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of common interests in the summit, which will take place on Tuesday morning in Asia.

Photo Credit: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

 

 

Presidents Biden and Xi each outlined competing visions at meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum this week, with Biden stressing the U.S. commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” which Washington says faces increasing Chinese “coercion,” while Xi warned against a return to Cold War tensions.

 

“The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition … as well as ways to work together where our interests align,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “President Biden will make clear U.S. intentions and priorities and be clear and candid about our concerns.”

Tensions have increased between Washington and Beijing as the two superpowers have been sparring on issues from the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to China’s expanding nuclear arsenal. U.S. officials believe direct engagement with Xi is the best way to prevent ties from spiraling towards a conflict. But Beijing is also very focused on avoiding confrontation as the country faces a crucial year ahead with China’s hosting of the Winter Olympic Games and Xi is hoping to secure an unprecedented third term in office.

U.S. officials have played down the possibility of progress on trade, where China is lagging in a commitment to buy $200 billion more in U.S. goods and services. China has still continued to push for relief from hundreds of billions of dollars of tariffs imposed under the Trump administration, arguing this could help both sides by easing inflation and boosting employment.

Climate action is a priority for President Biden, and China and the United States, the world’s two biggest carbon emitters, unveiled a deal at global talks in Glasgow this week to ramp up cooperation, including by cutting methane emissions, phasing out coal consumption, and protecting forests.

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