Biden and China’s Xi Jinping to meet Wednesday in San Francisco Bay Area

November 10, 2023

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to meet this coming Wednesday in the San Francisco Bay Area, aiming to curb tensions between the U.S. and China.

The two leaders’ meeting will come on the heels of two days of meetings in San Francisco between Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier He Lifeng, where the two finance ministers were laying the groundwork for Wednesday’s meeting.

And the Yellen-He discussions come roughly two weeks after China’s top diplomat, senior Foreign Policy Adviser Wang Yi, visited Washington to meet with top U.S. officials, including President Biden as well as Wang’s counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Xi similarly met with Blinken in June when the top U.S. diplomat traveled to Beijing for talks with Wang.

Already heightened U.S.-Chinese tensions were only made worse after the Pentagon in February shot down what it says was a Chinese surveillance balloon over South Carolinian waters after it had crossed the continental U.S.

Tensions have been further aggravated by China’s harassment of U.S. vessels and aircraft in and over the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.

Beijing has also been saber-rattling against its self-governing neighbor, Taiwan, for months. The U.S. has suspected for some time that China is planning to invade Taiwan, though Beijing has been watching and waiting to see how Russia fairs in its invasion of Ukraine before going forth with an assault against the island nation, just one hundred miles off China’s coast.

In August, Biden signed an executive order aimed at regulating and blocking U.S. high-tech investments in China, asserting the order was designed to protect national security. Last year, the U.S. blocked exports of advanced computer chips to China—much to the ire of Beijing.

According to senior White House official, the Biden-Xi meeting is expected to cover numerous global issues, including the Israel-Hamas war, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s ties with Russia, Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific, human rights, fentanyl and artificial intelligence, as well as “fair” trade and economic relations.

“Nothing will be held back; everything is on the table,” one official, who declined to be named, said during a briefing with reporters, adding, “We’re clear-eyed about this. We know efforts to shape or reform China over several decades have failed. But we expect China to be around and to be a major player on the world stage for the rest of our lifetimes.”

PHOTO: Biden and Xi at G-20 in 2022

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