Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart will meet in Bali on Monday, November 14, for the first time face to face since Biden became president of the United States.
Over the past two years, US-China relations have soured significantly over disagreements over trade, Taiwan or human rights. Washington’s announcement of the Biden-Xi meeting comes hours after the Chinese leader called on the military to devote all its energy to war preparations.
According to the US administration, in their first face-to-face since the Democratic president’s election to the White House, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will discuss how to “responsibly handle” the US-China rivalry.
Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor: “President Biden will be in the same room as Xi Jinping, speak to him directly and frankly, and expect the same from President Xi. Hence the extreme importance of the meeting. Nothing replaces direct communication from leaders.”
So far, the two heads of state have held talks via video conference, but they also had several face-to-face meetings when Biden was vice president under Barack Obama.
Joe Biden, President of the United States: “I have already told (President Xi) that I want competition, not conflict. What I expect from our meeting is to establish clearly what the red lines are for each of us. And let’s see if they come into conflict, and if so, let’s look for ways to defuse it.”
Avoiding repeating words that angered Beijing that the US military will defend Taiwan if attacked, Biden merely reiterated that he remains committed to the principle of one country, two systems.
Joe Biden, President of the United States: “US doctrine on Taiwan has not changed one iota since the very beginning.”
The strengthening of Xi Jinping’s position, after obtaining his third presidential term, is fueling fears in Taiwan, but also in Washington, for fear that China will intensify its efforts to achieve reunification with the island.
By contrast, the war in Ukraine will be a hot item on Monday’s meeting agenda.
Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor: “So far, I have not noticed that China is supplying the Russians with military equipment or weapons for the Ukrainian front. And no sustained effort to circumvent Western sanctions, even as China has obviously intensified its economic relations with Russia in recent months. On the other hand, we believe that all countries in the world should do more to rein in Russia, especially those that have close relations with Moscow.”
Joe Biden, President of the United States: “I don’t think Beijing has much respect for Russia or Putin. The Chinese seem to have drifted away from the Russians a bit lately. Instead, it remains to be seen whether Xi Jinping maintains his original intentions to make China the most powerful military and economy in the world. They have a long way to go…”
The last Biden-Xi virtual discussion dates back to late July, and since then bilateral tensions have escalated. And not just in connection with Taiwan and Russia, but also with technological and commercial rivalry, at a time when Americans are trying to revive their own high-tech industry to reduce their dependence on China.
Patricia M. Kim, US-China Relations Expert, Brookings Institution: “I would consider the meeting a success if, at the end, both presidents express their opposition to the use of nuclear weapons. This is vital to avoid nuclear escalation, both in Ukraine and on the Korean peninsula. “
Tags: joe biden, china, meeting, taiwan, xi jinping, invasion, fears,
Release date: 11-11-2022 18:11