US President Joe Biden walks out to depart the South Lawn of the White House en route to Illinois, in Washington, DC, USA, 09 November 2023. EFE/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS / POOL

Biden to meet with Xi in San Francisco to “stabilize” US-China relations

Washington, Nov 10 (EFE).- US President Joe Biden will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in San Francisco next week with the aim of “stabilizing” relations between the two countries, two White House officials confirmed.

The meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, November 15 on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, will be the first between the two leaders on American soil and the second since Biden took office in 2021.

(FILE) Chinese President Xi Jinping listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin, during their meeting in Moscow Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 20 March 2023. EFE/EPA/SERGEI KARPUHIN / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

China’s Foreign Ministry also confirmed Friday that President Xi Jinping will travel to the United States.

“The presidents will have in-depth discussions on strategic issues of fundamental importance in shaping China-US relations and on major issues of world peace and development,” said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

Biden is expected to discuss with Xi the future of the relationship between the two countries, with an emphasis on “keeping the lines of communication open” and expanding them beyond diplomacy into areas such as military and intelligence, the White House officials said.

“We are in competition with China, but we are not looking for conflict, confrontation or a new Cold War,” said one of the them, who asked not to be identified, in a call with journalists.

In addition, they assured that the leaders will address issues in the Asia-Pacific region, the war in Ukraine and the conflict in Israel and Gaza, as well as broader issues such as climate change and the fight against drugs.

The US president will touch on thorny issues where both countries have “differences,” such as “human rights, trade issues, the South China Sea and fair treatment of American companies and businesses,” officials told the press.

Biden will express to Xi his “concerns” about the rapprochement between North Korea and Russia, amid US complaints about a possible arms deal between the two countries.

“China remains an important sponsor” of Pyongyang, one of the officials stressed, and the US president will reiterate to Xi that it is ready for a diplomatic rapprochement with North Korea.

The president will also ask his Chinese counterpart to convey the message to Iran that the US is “prepared to respond” to any action that “escalates or spreads” violence in the Middle East.

On Taiwan, another point of strong disagreement between the US and China, Biden will reiterate his support for the territory and his concern about the increase in military activity in the region.

“These are unprecedented actions that are dangerous (…) and that undermine peace and stability,” stressed the second official.

The White House’s vision for this meeting, the officials added, is one of realism: “Efforts to shape or reform China in recent decades have failed.

This meeting between Xi and Biden comes after months of rapprochement, following the arrival of an alleged Chinese balloon in the US that froze the already fragile relationship between the two countries.

A visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing in June and the subsequent trip by several US officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, paved the way.

The first meeting between the two leaders took place a year ago on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bail, Indonesia.

The last time Xi Jinping traveled to the US was in 2017, when he visited the Florida residence of then-president Donald Trump (2017-2021), with whom he had a complicated relationship.EFE