US President Joe Biden will discuss “guardrails” for US-China dynamics with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during the duo’s virtual meeting on Monday night (US time), a senior US administration official said. However, no specific results are expected from the virtual meeting.
Biden also plans to discuss differences between the two countries — China’s actions against Taiwan, in particular, as well as human rights and China’s “coercive” tactics, in addition to areas of alignment, the official said.
“…It is important to keep the communication channels open. That is why President Biden initiated this meeting. We want to make our intentions and our priorities clear to avoid misunderstandings,” the official told reporters during a briefing on Sunday, while giving a preview of the meeting.
“The president will also make it clear that we want to build crash barriers with common sense to avoid miscalculations or misunderstandings,” the official said.
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Monday’s interaction would be different from the two phone calls the two leaders have had since Mr. Biden took office (most recently in early September), according to the official, as it would be a virtual, face-to-face interaction (rather than just voice). and because of the level of preparation going into the meeting.
The official cited China’s “coercive and provocative behavior” regarding Taiwan, human rights, China’s “extraordinary” state aid to businesses and its actions in cyberspace among the topics on the anvil for Monday’s talks.
“This is an opportunity for President Biden to directly tell President Xi that he expects him to obey the traffic rules,” the official said.
The US is concerned about the number of intrusions by Beijing into the Taiwanese air defense identification zone in recent months. China, on the other hand, had objected to US aid to Taiwan. Tensions surrounding the issue were evident in both sides’ summaries of a telephone conversation on Friday between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
On Australia’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines through its AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) security partnership, Biden’s government official suggested they see Beijing raise the issue on Monday.
“It’s certainly possible we could hear from them about that,” the official said.
Australian Defense Secretary Peter Dutton had said last weekend it was “inconceivable” that Australia would not join the US in any action to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression.
The official was unwilling to commit to a position on whether Mr Biden would accept an invitation to attend the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing in 2022.
The virtual meeting with Mr. Xi is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Eastern US time.