Northern California Estate Hosts Critical Xi-Biden Summit

by Andrew Wright
US-China Military Relations

A pivotal meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to take place at Filoli, a historic and private Northern California estate. This one-on-one discussion is intended to foster improved ties between the world’s leading powers.

Filoli, nestled within the coastal range of Northern California, was originally constructed in 1917 as a private home before transitioning into a site managed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Located roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of San Francisco, it coincides geographically with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ conference occurring this week in the city.

The choice of Filoli for the summit was revealed under anonymity by three high-ranking administration officials, given the security sensitivities involved.

Commenting on the location, Bonnie Glaser, the Indo-Pacific program’s managing director at the German Marshall Fund, highlighted its suitability for a confidential dialogue between Biden and Xi, separate from the APEC summit’s bustle.

The private setting of Filoli, boasting over 650 acres (2.6 square kilometers) that include a Georgian revival mansion and an English Renaissance garden, aims to facilitate a more personal and undisturbed discussion. The estate is temporarily closed to the public for holiday preparations, as indicated on its website.

Jeremi Suri, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, emphasized the significance of such a venue in reducing external pressures and fostering mutual understanding and trust. He drew parallels to the historic meeting between former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev at a remote chateau in 1986, which notably strengthened their rapport.

The estate’s name, Filoli, derives from the initials of William Bowers Bourn II’s life philosophy: “Fight for a just cause. Love your Fellow Man. Live a Good Life.” Besides hosting private gatherings and weddings, Filoli has also served as a backdrop in popular media, such as Jennifer Lopez’s film “The Wedding Planner.”

This report includes contributions from AP journalists Didi Tang and Colleen Long in San Francisco, and Zeke Miller and Matthew Lee in Washington.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden-Xi Summit

Where will the Biden-Xi meeting take place?

The meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping will take place at Filoli, a historic estate in Northern California.

Why was Filoli chosen as the meeting venue for Biden and Xi?

Filoli was chosen for its seclusion and historic significance. It provides a private and relaxed setting, away from the main APEC summit, suitable for intimate and focused discussions.

What is the significance of the Biden-Xi meeting?

This meeting is crucial for improving relations between the two superpowers, the United States and China, and for discussing issues of mutual and global interest.

What does Filoli estate offer as a venue for the meeting?

Filoli is a historic site with over 650 acres, featuring a Georgian revival mansion and an English Renaissance garden. Its secluded and tranquil setting is ideal for diplomatic discussions.

What historical comparison is made regarding the Biden-Xi meeting?

The meeting is compared to the 1986 meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, emphasizing the potential for building trust and understanding in a secluded setting.

More about Biden-Xi Summit

  • Filoli Historic Estate
  • US-China Diplomatic Relations
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
  • Indo-Pacific Program, German Marshall Fund
  • History of US-Soviet Summits
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation

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SandraInSF November 15, 2023 - 8:09 am

I live near Filoli, it’s a beautiful place but didn’t expect it to host a summit like this. Traffic’s gonna be a nightmare!

PoliticsNerd November 15, 2023 - 9:41 am

interesting choice of venue, but why so secret? They should be more open about these talks.

HistoryBuff November 15, 2023 - 11:30 am

Filoli sounds historic but not sure it’s the right place for such a high-profile summit, could’ve chosen somewhere more symbolic maybe?

GlobalWatcher November 15, 2023 - 11:46 am

This meeting is so important, hope they discuss climate change and trade issues, not just politics.

JohnSmith45 November 15, 2023 - 3:17 pm

wow, didn’t know about this Filoli place, looks fancy. Good spot for a big meeting like this I guess.


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