Biden, Xi pledge to reduce tensions at summit

US President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping final met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 14, 2022 (SAUL LOEB)

US President Joe Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping shook arms Wednesday and pledged to scale back tensions as they met for the primary time in a yr at a high-stakes summit in California.

A smiling Biden greeted Xi after the Chinese language chief stepped out of a black limousine on the scenic Filoli nation property within the California foothills close to San Francisco, earlier than the 2 leaders shook arms on the entrance steps.

The 2 leaders then headed inside for painstakingly choreographed, closed-door talks on points together with Taiwan, sanctions and commerce which have roiled relations between the world’s largest economies.

Biden opened his remarks by saying that tensions ought to “not veer into battle.”

Xi responded by saying that “turning their again on one another will not be an possibility” for the superpowers.

Biden was to provide a solo press convention at 4:15 pm (0015 GMT Thursday) to debate the summit, which was being held on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco, the White Home mentioned.

Protesters lined a part of the route of Biden’s motorcade from San Francisco, many with pro-Xi indicators and crimson and yellow Chinese language flags hung up on safety fences.

US officers have performed down the possibility of main breakthroughs though an settlement on restoring a hotline between the Chinese language and US militaries on the playing cards, together with cooperation on stopping provides of the drug fentanyl.

However the principle aim of the talks — that are happening on the setting for the famed Eighties US cleaning soap opera “Dynasty” — is to revive predictability to the connection, US officers say.

The final time Biden and Xi met in particular person was in Bali in November 2022, and relations nosedived after america shot down an alleged Chinese language spy balloon in February this yr.

– ‘Tensions’ –

The talks, which come after months of delicate diplomatic negotiations, come in opposition to the backdrop of a protracted wrestle for international primacy between america and an more and more assertive China.

Some of the delicate points is Taiwan, the self-ruling democracy over which Beijing claims sovereignty and which it has not dominated out seizing by drive.

Biden was anticipated to inform Xi that america will keep on with its “One China” coverage that emphasizes it doesn’t assist Taiwanese independence, however that it’ll proceed to provide Taiwan navy support.

“We don’t wish to see the tensions throughout the Taiwan Strait evolve into any form of battle”, White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby advised reporters hours earlier than the assembly.

Biden was additionally anticipated to “elevate considerations over human rights in China” together with the repression of the Uyghur Muslim minority, added Kirby.

The 80-year-old Biden held out an olive department to Xi, 70, on the eve of the talks, insisting that america was “not attempting to decouple from China” and needed to enhance the connection.

However Biden couldn’t resist including at a fundraising dinner that beneath communist chief Xi China confronted “actual issues,” whereas Biden claimed to be “reestablishing American management on the earth.”

China responded with a overseas ministry spokeswoman mentioning all nations had issues, together with america, whereas sticking to constructive speaking factors on the summit.

– ‘Vital for everybody’ –

Expectations of main bulletins are low however the two nations have trailed a collection of doable wins from Xi’s first go to to US soil since he was hosted by then-president Donald Trump in 2017.

One is the restoration of the 2 nations’ navy hotline, which Beijing severed after then-Home speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022.

There have been additionally hopes of “progress” on cooperation to restrict Chinese language exports of components for fentanyl, the opioid drug sweeping America.

The 2 leaders have been moreover anticipated to debate the Israel-Hamas battle and the Ukraine warfare.

On the eve of the summit, China and america additionally pledged to work extra carefully collectively on international warming.

Russia, a associate of China in what Washington sees as a rising authoritarian alliance, welcomed the San Francisco assembly, with the Kremlin calling the talks “essential for everybody.”

For his half Xi was anticipated to push for an finish to commerce curbs and sanctions, with the Chinese language financial system struggling to shore up progress after its powerful zero-Covid coverage.

The Chinese language chief was to host a dinner with US executives after the summit.


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