UPDATED at 2:50 P.M. ET on 2023-11-15.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping on Wednesday entered solely their second face-to-face talks since Biden took workplace, with navy and commerce anticipated to dominate however a deal additionally anticipated to stem the circulate of fentanyl precursors out of China.
Biden greeted Xi with a handshake at Filoli, a rustic property exterior San Francisco boasting 16 acres of English Renaissance gardens on the jap slopes of the Santa Cruz mountains. Each leaders then supplied opening remarks earlier than the press have been requested to go away.
“Properly, Mr. President, it is good to see you once more,” Biden mentioned, including that there’s “no substitute to face-to-face discussions.”
“I worth our dialog as a result of I feel it is paramount that you simply and I perceive one another clearly, leader-to-leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication,” he mentioned. “We now have to make sure that competitors doesn’t veer into battle, and we now have to handle it responsibly.”
Xi additionally struck a conciliatory tone, saying China and the USA ought to attempt to “coexist in peace” regardless of their variations.
“The China-U.S. relationship has by no means been clean crusing over the previous 50 years or extra, and it at all times faces issues of 1 type or one other,” Xi mentioned. “But it has stored transferring ahead.”
“For 2 giant nations like China and the USA, turning their again on one another just isn’t an possibility,” the Chinese language president added. “Planet Earth is sufficiently big for the 2 nations to succeed, and one nation’s success is a chance for the opposite.”
Each Xi and Biden are in San Francisco for this yr’s Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation, or APEC, summit, which has been headlined by their plans to satisfy amid tense occasions for U.S.-China relations.
“What we’re making an attempt to do is change the connection for the higher,” Biden mentioned whereas leaving Washington on Tuesday, including he wished to assist “the Chinese language folks, who’re in bother proper now economically.”
A senior White Home official, who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate the Biden-Xi summit forward of time, mentioned that “the resumption of navy contacts” can be a key U.S. goal on the summit.
Chinese language navy leaders have for months rejected any communications with their U.S. counterparts, who’ve in flip decried the hazards of an incapacity to hunt readability over close to accidents between the 2 militaries within the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.
“We wish to see operational dialogue, we wish to see coverage dialogue on the highest stage, and we wish to see the operational commanders have a dialogue about operations within the Indo-Pacific,” he mentioned.
Commerce ties, together with on microchips, would additionally function, the official added, and Xi’s delegation is anticipated to unveil a “package deal” meant to stem the outflow from China of precursors for fentanyl, an artificial opioid known as the main killer of People aged 18 to 49.
“What the Chinese language are going to be discussing are very giant numbers of legislation enforcement strikes that can tackle a complete community in China,” he mentioned. “We consider that that is vital.”
‘On the very prime’
The White Home official mentioned Xi’s accumulation of private energy throughout the Chinese language system of presidency “during the last a number of years” meant that lower-level diplomacy was typically not fruitful, which means the direct talks have been taking over a better stage of significance than regular.
“Frankly, should you actually need to do severe diplomacy, it has to happen on the very prime,” he mentioned. “So the stakes actually simply could not be greater.”
The Filoli talks will mirror Biden and Xi’s assembly on the sidelines of the G-20 assembly in Bali, Indonesia, a yr in the past, with a handshake adopted by an hours-long assembly with advisers behind closed doorways.
Biden is then set to carry a solo press convention.
Xi, who had solely left China two occasions this yr previous to this journey, will return to downtown San Francisco, the place he’s anticipated to handle prime U.S. enterprise leaders at a dinner on the Hyatt Regency.
The Chinese language president is staying on the close by St. Regis Lodge, the place dozens of supporters gathered alongside the street Tuesday night amid a powerful police presence to welcome the Chinese language president to the town.
A handful of protesters additionally turned out, however have been successfully harassed out of the realm by Xi’s supporters who surrounded them with Chinese language flags and loudspeakers taking part in the Chinese language nationwide anthem on loop. Police intervened solely when the protesters have been immediately attacked.
The US formally says a “genocide” is occuring in opposition to Uyghurs in China’s far-west Xinjiang province, and Biden himself known as Xi a “dictator” earlier this yr.
However American officers have been extra tempered within the lead-up to Xi’s go to, refraining from any language that would intrude with the fastidiously choreographed assembly.
Nonetheless, Biden’s nationwide safety spokesman, John Kirby, informed reporters on Wednesday morning earlier than the talks that U.S. officers “routinely” increase human rights in conferences with their Chinese language counterparts, and mentioned Biden himself “by no means shies away from that” with Xi.
“You’ll be able to totally count on that the president will increase our issues over human rights in China, together with the difficulty of the Uyghurs,” he mentioned, including he would additionally “make it very clear to Xi … that the USA would proceed to supply for self-defense capabilities for Taiwan.”
Edited by Malcolm Foster.