Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
October 31, 2023
Barring from any last-minute breakdown, it looks like that the Biden-Xi summit will happen next month in San Francisco. No matter what, the summit is good news: it is better talking in person than speaking through delegates or talking with the news media alone.
The world as of now, is unstable with two regional on-going hot wars, which are big headaches for President Biden. The US has warned China not to take the “wrong side” opposing the US efforts. But lacking any exit strategy, the US can use China’s help in promoting a cease fire or even peace plan. Otherwise, these wars may drag out for a long while and damage the already fragile global economy.
The tough challenge for Biden is how to maintain peace and stability over the Taiwan strait. For China, it is a domestic issue: reunification. The US has successfully maintained that Taiwan security is a global issue, with a very strong military presence in the region. It is a tinder box ready to explode and it is a test of Biden’s leadership and political wisdom on how to engage Xi at the Summit. Biden’s challenge is his reelection bid and rivalry with anti-China force in the US. However, if the US and China cannot normalize the trade relation, the global economy will be difficult to recover that is detrimental to Biden’s reelection bid.
Biden, Xi will meet next month, White House confirms
Tue, October 31, 2023 at 12:02 PM PDT
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday confirmed that President Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month, face-to-face in San Francisco.
She was questioned about a reported meeting on the sidelines of November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and confirmed it during a back-and-forth at the daily press briefing.
“Our policy and how we move forward with China hasn’t changed. This is intense competition… and intense competition means intense diplomacy, that’s what you’re going to see. That’s what the president is going to be doing and having a tough conversation but important conversation,” she said.
Fox Business reporter Edward Lawrence followed up, asking Jean-Pierre if the Chinese haven’t said yes on a face-to-face meeting.
“We’ve been talking about it. The president said he’s looking forward to meeting with President Xi and so, not going to get into details about this meeting that’s going to happen… next month. It’s going to be in San Francisco, it’s going to be a constructive meeting, the president’s looking forward to it,” Jean-Pierre said.
U.S. and Chinese officials agreed to a meeting during the APEC summit but have not decided on the day of a meeting, the Associated Press reported. The summit will run Nov. 11-17.
The San Francisco meeting comes after diplomatic ties between the two nations have taken a hit since Biden and Xi last met.
Biden will meet Xi Jinping in coming weeks, White House says
Tue, October 31, 2023 at 1:20 PM PDT
President Joe Biden will meet with President Xi Jinping of China next month during an economic summit in San Francisco, the White House said on Tuesday afternoon, marking a significant diplomatic moment between two great world powers whose relationship has grown increasingly hostile.
The meeting of the two countries’ leaders comes after a flurry of diplomatic visits in recent months aimed at breaking the ice in the U.S.-China relationship. The trip also comes on the heels of a promising week in U.S.-China relations, after Gov. Gavin Newsom of California was well received in China during a visit centered on climate cooperation and as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the diplomatic rounds in Washington.
She did not give further details about what the two will discuss, but the meeting is expected to occur on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting, which will be held Nov. 12-18.
A meeting between the two pivotal world leaders could be awkward, given that Biden labeled Xi a dictator over the summer, causing its own flare-up of tensions. The two countries’ ties took a nosedive earlier this year after a Chinese spy balloon flew across the continental U.S. in February, before an American military plane shot it down off the Atlantic Coast.
The ongoing political tenor around China in the U.S. has proved — and likely will remain — dicey in coming months, especially as an ongoing presidential contest portrays the country as a significant threat.
Likely topics for the Biden-Xi meeting include trade, fentanyl, cybersecurity, technology, foreign diplomacy. The outbreak of war in the Middle East will almost certainly be a significant part of the conversation, especially as China in recent years has increasingly sought to flex its diplomatic chops on the global stage and retains solid ties with Iran, a key funder of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
The two countries are facing a set of challenges that make their once amicable relationship seem like a fairy tale, as their ties have become defined by contentious competition. Political animosity toward China, especially from Biden’s Republican critics, will make any moves for collaboration a minefield as he seeks four more years in the White House.
The U.S. economy is closely intertwined with China across too many sectors to count, but political tensions over the loss of American jobs have driven an anxious economic undercurrent in legislating — a pattern that kicked off most prominently in the Trump administration.
Biden will enter the meeting as he has sought to shore up alliances in the broader Asia-Pacific region, from Australia to South Korea, with an unspoken desire to counter China’s influence. Countering China’s military has become a key concern of Pentagon officials, as the country’s aircraft and ships in its expanding forces have engaged in aggressive behavior in the region — specifically the South China Sea — that has raised the alarm of America and its allies.
Not all topics remain contentious, though. Climate cooperation looks to be a promising area for collaboration between the two countries — a point that Newsom’s trip helped underscore with a toast for working together on the matter at an observation deck overlooking the Great Wall of China.
On the Chinese side, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday indicated that the meeting would occur but emphasized, in comments during a regular news conference, that necessary preparations were needed.
Xi will arrive in San Francisco as he deals with his own set of challenges at home, including record-high youth unemployment of more than 20 percent, a real estate market in cataclysmic debt turmoil and the mysterious ouster of two officials in the top echelons of Beijing — including former Foreign Minister Qin Gang.
During Newsom’s visit to China last week, several Chinese officials portrayed hope about the two countries’ relationship.
“U.S.-China relations are the most important bilateral tie in the world today,” Chinese Vice President Han Zheng said, according to a readout from the state news agency Xinhua. “Recently, U.S.-China relations have stopped falling and stabilized.”
Biden will meet China’s Xi Jinping at Pacific summit in San Francisco
Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News
Tue, October 31, 2023 at 4:46 PM PDT
President Joe Biden plans to meet Chinese Premier Xi Jinping at a Pacific economic summit in San Francisco in November, the White House announced Tuesday.
The White House said the world should not expect any breakthroughs or dramatic policy shifts.
“Our policy and how we move forward with China has not changed,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday during a news briefing. “Intense competition means intense diplomacy.”
The meeting with Xi comes as the rival global powers seek to stabilize an increasingly tense relationship at a time of conflict in Ukraine and Israel and increasing tensions over Taiwan.
Taiwan has also been a flashpoint since the island’s ruling party backs formal independence. China considers the island to be a breakaway province that will eventually rejoin the mainland.
US, China Agree in Principle on Biden-Xi Meeting
Sun, October 29, 2023 at 6:46 PM PDT
US and Chinese officials have agreed in principle on a meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November, according to an American official, but there is no official announcement so far.
Biden and Xi to meet in San Francisco in November, White House says
Tue, October 31, 2023 at 1:42 PM PDT·
Washington — President Biden plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco next month, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced Tuesday, confirming a high-stakes diplomatic sit-down between the two leaders.
Mr. Biden and Xi will have much to discuss, with U.S. officials continuing to express concern about China’s ties to Russia, its posture towards Taiwan and other geopolitical hot-button issues. Publicly, the president frames the United States’ relations with China as one of strategic competition, even as the U.S. looks to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific and Africa.