White House confirms Biden will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping virtually on November 15 and will ‘make his concerns clear amid tensions over Taiwan and after agreeing to work together on climate change
- President Joe Biden will meet virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday evening in a much-anticipated meeting
- The two will discuss ways to ‘responsibily manage the competition between the United States and the PRC [People’s Republic of China],’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement
- A senior administration official warned there would be no deliverables out of the meeting
- Xi has not left China during the COVID pandemic
President Joe Biden will meet virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday evening, the White House announced on Friday.
The two will discuss ways to ‘responsibily manage the competition between the United States and the PRC [People’s Republic of China],’ 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 with the PRC,’ Psaki noted.
The meeting comes after administration officials criticized Xi for not attending the G20 or the COP26 summit in person. Xi joined the G20 virtually but he has not left China during the COVID pandemic.
It also comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade deals, the situation in Taiwain, the COVID pandemic and climate change.
The White House had said Biden would hold a one-on-one with his Chinese counterpart before the end of the year.
President Joe Biden will meet virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday evening in a much-anticipated meeting
The much- anticipated meeting will be the third engagement between the two leaders since February. It comes after the U.S. and China this week pledged at U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland to increase their cooperation and speed up action to rein in climate-damaging emissions.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi came to an agreement on holding the Biden-Xi virtual summit by year’s end when they met last month for talks in Zurich but the two sides had not settled on a date.
The virtual meeting was proposed after Biden, who spent a substantial amount of time with Xi when the two were vice presidents, mentioned during a September phone call with the Chinese leader that he would like to be able to see Xi again, according to the White House.
Xi has not left China during the coronavirus pandemic. White House officials proposed a virtual summit as the best available substitute for the two leaders to have a substantive conversation on a number of issues that have put strains on the U.S.-China relationship.
‘We hope the U.S. will work together with China to jointly strive to make the leaders´ summit a success and bring China-U.S. ties back to the right track of sound and stable development,’ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Friday.
The meeting comes as Xi faces a crucial year ahead with Beijing’s hosting of the Winter Olympic Games and a key Communist Party Congress where he looks to secure an unprecedented third term.
A senior U.S. administration official said Biden would use the meeting to make clear that he welcomes stiff competition with China, but doesn’t want conflict, and downplayed the likelihood of a long list of outcomes often tied to senior leader meetings.
‘This is not about seeking specific deliverables or outcomes,’ the official told reporters.
‘As we compete with the PRC, President Biden expects President Xi and the PRC to play by the rules of road-and he will make that point throughout the meeting,’ the official said.
There has been no shortage of tension in the relationship in recent months as Biden has made clear he sees Beijing’s actions on a number of fronts as concerning.
The president has criticized China for human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in northwest China, squelching pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong, and resisting global pressure to cooperate fully with investigations into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tensions have also been exacerbated recently by the Chinese military´s flying dozens of sorties near the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.
Biden, at the Group of 20 meeting in Rome and again at the U.N. climate gathering, criticized Xi for failing to show up to the summits, where world leaders discussed the way forward on the pandemic and steps to ease the impact of climate change.
‘I think it´s been a big mistake, quite frankly, for China … not showing up, ‘ Biden said in Glasgow. ‘The rest of the world is going to look to China and say, what value added have they provided?’
Both leaders took part in Friday´s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) virtual meeting, where leaders discussed efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic and support the global economic recovery.