Biden, Xi meeting is aimed at getting relationship back on better footing, but tough issues loom

by Joshua Brown
U.S.-China Relations

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are set to meet at a high-profile gathering at a country estate on Wednesday, aiming to mend U.S.-China relations after recent tensions. However, Biden is poised to address challenging issues, including trade disputes, Beijing’s growing ties with Iran, and human rights concerns.

Their meeting, coinciding with an Asia-Pacific leaders’ summit, marks their first conversation in a year. During this period, U.S.-China relations have worsened due to several incidents, including the U.S. downing of a Chinese spy balloon and disagreements over Taiwan and cybersecurity breaches.

The discussions will occur at California’s Filoli Estate, roughly 25 miles south of San Francisco, as confirmed by anonymous senior administration officials. The venue choice, not yet officially announced, underscores the security and significance of this event.

Both leaders aim to demonstrate that, despite being economic rivals, their countries are not engaged in a zero-sum game with global stakes. Key areas of discord include export controls, Taiwan, and regional conflicts.

Ahead of the meeting, Biden plans to urge China to leverage its influence over Iran to deter Tehran or its allies from escalating the Israel-Hamas conflict. Recognizing China’s significant oil trade with Iran, the U.S. views China as a key player in influencing Iranian policies.

Biden described the meeting as an opportunity to normalize U.S.-China relations. White House National Council spokesman John Kirby emphasized Biden’s readiness to address contentious issues while also exploring areas of cooperation, such as climate change and clean energy technology.

The U.S. President intends to manage the intense economic rivalry and maintain open communication channels to prevent misunderstandings leading to direct conflict. He will defend U.S. semiconductor export controls while reassuring China that the U.S. does not seek an economic war, especially considering China’s ongoing economic recovery challenges from the pandemic.

Conversely, Xi seeks assurances against U.S. support for Taiwanese independence, a new cold war, or efforts to hinder China’s economic growth. He aims to reinforce China’s viability as an investment destination.

Preceding the meeting, the U.S. and China agreed to enhance renewable energy efforts, indicating a potential thaw in relations. Discussions are also anticipated on re-establishing military communications and addressing the fentanyl crisis, with China being a significant source of the drug’s precursor chemicals.

The APEC summit has already drawn significant protests, with more expected, demonstrating public interest and concern over various issues.

In preparation for the meeting, White House officials highlighted the U.S. economy’s robust position compared to China’s and the strengthening of U.S. alliances in the Pacific. Biden, speaking at a fundraiser, underlined the importance of this meeting in asserting U.S. global leadership.

Meanwhile, economic forecasts show a slowdown in China’s growth. Biden has expressed satisfaction with the U.S. economic performance, especially regarding inflation control and employment stability.

Post-meeting, Xi is scheduled to address U.S. business leaders, providing a rare opportunity for direct engagement with the Chinese President amidst concerns about China’s regulatory environment affecting foreign investment.

A senior Biden official noted Xi’s visit aims to reassure U.S. CEOs about investing in China. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently urged Xi to address the fentanyl issue to improve China’s image in the U.S.

This report includes contributions from Sagar Meghani in Washington.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden-Xi Summit

What is the purpose of the Biden-Xi meeting?

The meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping is primarily aimed at stabilizing U.S.-China relations after a period of increased tensions. It serves as a platform to address various challenging issues such as trade disputes, Beijing’s growing relationship with Iran, and concerns over human rights.

When and where is the Biden-Xi meeting taking place?

The meeting is scheduled to take place on the sidelines of a summit of Asian-Pacific leaders at Filoli Estate, a country house and museum about 25 miles south of San Francisco.

What are the key issues expected to be discussed at the Biden-Xi meeting?

Key issues include U.S.-China trade relations, China’s relationship with Iran, human rights concerns, the situation in Taiwan, cybersecurity issues, and the global economic rivalry between the two nations.

How is the Biden-Xi meeting significant for U.S.-China relations?

This meeting is significant as it represents an effort to mend the strained relations between the two superpowers and discuss contentious issues while exploring areas of potential cooperation, such as climate change and clean energy technology.

What economic aspects are likely to be a focus in the Biden-Xi talks?

Economic discussions are expected to center around managing the countries’ intense economic competition, U.S. export controls on semiconductor chips, and assurances regarding China’s economic growth and its role as a place for U.S. investment.

Has there been any pre-meeting development between the U.S. and China?

Ahead of the meeting, there have been positive developments such as an agreement between the U.S. and China to pursue efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030.

What are the domestic implications for both leaders in the Biden-Xi meeting?

For Biden, the meeting is an opportunity to showcase U.S. leadership and economic strength, while for Xi, it’s a chance to reassure U.S. business leaders about investing in China amid regulatory concerns. Both leaders aim to strengthen their international standing and address domestic economic challenges.

More about Biden-Xi Summit

  • Biden-Xi Meeting Overview
  • U.S.-China Trade Relations
  • Human Rights Concerns in U.S.-China Talks
  • Biden and Xi Discuss Iran and Middle East
  • Economic Rivalry Between U.S. and China
  • Impact of U.S.-China Relations on Global Economy
  • Role of Taiwan in U.S.-China Discussions
  • Cybersecurity Issues in U.S.-China Relations
  • Renewable Energy Agreement Between U.S. and China
  • Biden-Xi Summit and Global Leadership

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Sarah K November 15, 2023 - 2:02 pm

Great article! finally some good news on the international front. let’s hope this meeting turns things around for both countries.

JulieAnn89 November 15, 2023 - 3:37 pm

wow, didn’t realize how tense things were between US and China. this meeting sounds super important, hope they sort things out!

GaryO November 16, 2023 - 5:21 am

Trade and human rights, big issues but can they really solve them in one meeting? seems optimistic, but hey, who knows.

Mike Jenson November 16, 2023 - 5:46 am

really interesting read, but seems like there’s a bit of bias? idk, just feels like it’s leaning a bit too much towards one side.

Eddy_K November 16, 2023 - 7:56 am

The part about China’s struggling economy was eye-opening… shows how the pandemic is still affecting things globally.

Tom Richards November 16, 2023 - 9:57 am

this is kinda confusing? like, what’s the real impact gonna be here? feels like just another political show without much substance.

SaraB November 16, 2023 - 3:37 pm

It’s interesting to see how both leaders are approaching this, Biden’s focus on trade and human rights vs Xi’s concerns about Taiwan and economic growth.

Mike Jansen November 16, 2023 - 5:08 pm

wow, didnt realize how tense things were between the US and China, hope this meeting sorts some stuff out, especially with Iran and all.

Anna_Marie November 16, 2023 - 6:23 pm

Really hope they make some solid progress on the environmental front, the agreement to up renewable energy is a good start, but there’s so much more to do!


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