President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to have a meeting next month at an economic summit in San Francisco, according to the White House on Tuesday. This meeting holds great diplomatic significance as it brings together two major world powers whose relationship has become increasingly strained.
The summit between the leaders of the two nations takes place following a series of diplomatic exchanges in recent months with the goal of improving the U.S.-China relationship. This visit follows a positive week in U.S.-China relations, as California Governor Gavin Newsom received a warm welcome during his visit to China focused on collaboration in addressing climate change, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi conducted diplomatic meetings in Washington.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, confirmed the meeting between Biden and Xi. However, she appeared to unintentionally disclose the announcement. The White House had previously released a statement on Friday stating that both countries were in the process of arranging a meeting.
Jean-Pierre stated that the upcoming diplomatic discussion will be significant, as there is a strong competition between the U.S. and China. The meeting will take place in San Francisco and is expected to be productive, with the president eagerly anticipating it.
She did not provide any additional information regarding the topics of discussion, but the meeting is anticipated to take place during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit from November 12th-18th.
The upcoming meeting between the two influential world leaders may be uncomfortable, especially since Biden accused Xi of being a dictator earlier this year, leading to increased tensions. The relationship between the two countries deteriorated this year after a Chinese spy balloon was flown over the United States in February and was subsequently shot down by an American military plane near the Atlantic Coast.
The current political atmosphere surrounding China in the United States has been and will likely continue to be uncertain in the upcoming months, particularly as the ongoing presidential race portrays the country as a major danger. In recent months, some of Biden’s Cabinet members have visited China, and a group of senators from both parties also made the trip earlier this month.
Possible discussion points for the upcoming meeting between President Biden and President Xi may include trade, fentanyl, cybersecurity, technology, and foreign diplomacy. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East is likely to be a prominent topic of conversation, particularly as China has been actively expanding its diplomatic influence and maintains strong relations with Iran, a major supporter of Hamas. It has been almost a year since their last meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, and they are expected to meet again in California in November 2022.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson announced on Monday that the meeting would take place, but also stressed during a routine press conference that necessary preparations were still required. On Friday, the Associated Press reported, based on anonymous sources, that an agreement for the meeting had been reached during Wang’s visit to Washington.
Last week, while Newsom was in China, numerous Chinese officials expressed optimism about the relationship between the two countries.
According to a statement from the state news agency Xinhua, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng stated that the relationship between the United States and China is the most crucial bilateral connection in the world at present. He also noted that there has been a halt in the decline of U.S.-China relations and they have become more stable.