The President of the United States, Joe Biden, received this Friday the surprise of the Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, at the White House, representing the highest-ranking meeting held by the president with a Chinese official last year.
The meeting, which was not on Biden’s agenda, mimics the one that the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, also surprised the president of China, Xi Jinping, during his trip to Beijing in June.
According to a brief statement from the White House, Biden told Wang that “the United States and China must manage their rivalry and relationship responsibly, with open lines of communication” and “work together to address the challenge to the world.”
In the same way, the American president sent his condolences for the death of former Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who died this Friday at the age of 68 due to a heart attack.
The meeting lasted about an hour and Biden expressed his desire to meet again with the President of China Xi Jinping, as revealed by John Kirby, one of the spokesmen of the White House, in a subsequent press conference on the phone.
Biden received the Chinese Foreign Minister when he visited the White House to meet with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, after two days of meetings with Blinken at the State Department.
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 in Iran to prevent the Persian nation from entering the war and avoid conflict in the region.
The Washington meetings between Blinken and Wang also served to prepare for a possible meeting between Biden and Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) to be held in mid-November in San Francisco.
The White House has been preparing this meeting for weeks, which has not yet been officially confirmed and which will serve to carry out the strategy of rapprochement between the two governments that began months ago with Blinken’s visit to Beijing.
Biden and Xi met for the last time in November last year during the G20 in Bali (Indonesia), where they agreed to continue regular contact after years of deteriorating bilateral relations due to the trade war between the two countries. , the situation in Taiwan or the military 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 Beijing in June, which was followed by visits by other US officials such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
The governor of California, Democrat Gavin Newsom, met this Wednesday with Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Xi’s last trip to the United States was in April 2017 when he met former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) in Florida.