February 23, 2024
President Joe Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping attend a bilateral assembly on the Filoli property on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Joe Biden met Chinese language chief Xi Jinping for the primary time in a yr on Wednesday for talks which will ease friction between the 2 superpowers over army conflicts, drug-trafficking and synthetic intelligence.

Biden welcomed the Chinese language chief on the historic Filoli property, a rustic home and gardens in Woodside, about 30 miles south of San Francisco, the place they may head later for a summit of the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC) summit.

In opening remarks, Biden stated the U.S. and China had to make sure that competitors between them “doesn’t veer into battle” and handle their relationship “responsibly.”

Xi advised Biden so much had occurred since their final assembly a yr in the past in Bali. “The world has emerged from the COVID pandemic, however continues to be below its super impacts. The worldwide economic system is recovering, however its momentum stays sluggish.”

Xi referred to as the U.S.-China relationship “crucial bilateral relationship on the planet,” and stated he and Biden “shoulder heavy obligations for the 2 peoples, for the world, and for historical past.”

“For 2 massive nations like China and the USA, turning their again on one another is just not an possibility,” he stated. “It’s unrealistic for one aspect to rework the opposite, and battle and confrontation has insufferable penalties for each side.”

The leaders will probably be searching for to cut back friction between the nations, however deep progress on the huge variations separating them might have to attend for an additional day.

Officers on each side of the Pacific have set expectations low as Biden and Xi are set to debate Taiwan, the South China Sea, the Israel-Hamas conflict, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea and human rights — areas the place the leaders have been unable to resolve long-standing disagreements.

Biden and Xi arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday the place they may each take part within the APEC summit.

Leaders from the 21-country group — and a whole lot of CEOs in San Francisco to court docket them — meet amid relative Chinese language financial weak point, Beijing’s territorial feuds with neighbors, and a Center East battle that’s dividing the USA from allies.

Specialists say Xi will probably be in search of a clean summit with Biden to point out these at house involved concerning the economic system and dwindling overseas funding that he can efficiently deal with relations between the world’s two largest economies.

Efforts to fastidiously choreograph Xi’s go to could also be upended in San Francisco regardless of efforts to drive homeless individuals from the streets. The route from the airport to the convention website was lined with demonstrators for and towards China’s ruling Communist Occasion, an uncommon sight for Xi, who final visited the USA in 2017.

The venue for the bilateral summit, removed from the APEC convention location, gives the leaders a mixture of safety, serenity and remoteness.

Biden has sought direct diplomacy with Xi, betting {that a} private relationship he has cultivated for a dozen years with essentially the most highly effective Chinese language chief since Mao Zedong may salvage ties which might be more and more turning hostile.

Chong Ja Ian, a political science professor on the Nationwide College of Singapore, stated the 2 sides are engaged in what Mao referred to throughout the Chinese language civil conflict as “speak and battle, battle and speak”.

“That’s, to speak whereas increase forces,” Chong stated.

Iran, Election Interference, Fentanyl

Throughout the assembly, Biden is predicted to press Xi to make use of China’s affect to induce Iran to keep away from provocative motion or encouraging its proxies to enter the fray in what, strikes that would unfold the Israel-Hamas battle throughout the Center East.

He’s additionally anticipated to boost alleged Chinese language operations to affect overseas elections, the standing of U.S. residents that Washington believes are wrongly detained in China and human rights.

U.S. officers anticipated concrete steps to revive staff-level conversations between the 2 nations on points from military-to-military communications to decreasing the movement of fentanyl, managing the expansion of synthetic intelligence applied sciences, and managing commerce and local weather.

Most of the chemical compounds used to make fentanyl come from China, U.S. officers say.

Earlier than the assembly, each nations backed a brand new renewable power goal and stated they might work to cut back methane and plastic air pollution, a renewal of local weather cooperate suspended after former U.S. Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022.

Biden, 80, presides over an economic system that has outperformed expectations and most wealthy nations after the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s searching for a second time period in workplace.

He has corralled the nation’s conventional allies from Europe to Asia to confront Russia in Ukraine, though some have variations over the Israel-Hamas battle.

Xi, a decade Biden’s junior, has tightened management over coverage, state leaders, the media and army and altering the structure. Not too long ago, financial challenges have thrown the nation off its three-decade progress trajectory.

Authorities officers throughout the area anticipate Beijing to check Washington in coming weeks, benefiting from the USA’ perceived shift in concentrate on Ukraine and Israel because it pursues its personal ambitions within the Indo-Pacific.

Biden is predicted to inform Xi that U.S. commitments within the Indo-Pacific are unchanged. China has frightened its neighbors in recent times with steps within the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea and East China Sea, areas of worldwide dispute.