White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed this Tuesday in a press conference that President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will hold a meeting next November on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), which takes place in San Francisco. The White House hopes for a “constructive” meeting that will serve to guide relations between the world’s two major powers and economies.
Xi has not traveled to the United States in six years. He last did so in April 2017 to meet with then-President Donald Trump in Florida. On this occasion, Jean-Pierre refrained from giving more details about the historic meeting. Although he acknowledged that the conversation between the two leaders will be “difficult but important” and will take place in a framework where China’s policy “has not changed,” It’s “intense competition,” which means “intense diplomacy,” in the words of a White House spokesman.
The official confirmation comes a week after the meeting in Washington between the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, and the head of diplomacy of China, Wang Yi, which served to prepare the meeting between the two presidents.
Biden received Minister Wang Yi at the White House by surprise. This is the highest-ranking meeting a US president has had with a Chinese official in the past year.
The meeting, which was not on Biden’s agenda, mimicked one that Blinken also surprised the Chinese president with during his trip to Beijing in June.
Washington has been trying to smooth things over with Beijing for months, a need now made more urgent by the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. In particular, the United States wants China to use its influence on Iran to prevent it from going to war and thereby avoid conflict in the region.
Biden and Xi last met in November last year at the G20 Summit in Bali (Indonesia). They then agreed to resume regular contact after years of deterioration in bilateral relations due to the trade war between the two countries, the situation in Taiwan, or military activities in the South China Sea.
But those efforts were blown up in February when Washington accused Beijing of sending an alleged Chinese spy balloon into US airspace.
The relationship did not begin to improve until Blinken’s trip to China in June, which was followed by visits by other US officials. In recent months, the secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce, Janet Yellen and Gina Raimondo, the director of the CIA, William Burns, the national security advisor of the White House, Jake Sullivan, and the special envoy of the United States, paraded. through Beijing. United for the climate, John Kerry