The White House has confirmed that US President Joe Biden will virtually meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Nov. 15 and that the two leaders will face points of tension. Speaking at the first press conference after testing negative for coronavirus, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday’s meeting between the two leaders will raise concerns about wider tensions between China and India. Psaki added that Biden will make U.S. intentions and priorities clear and be clear and candid about America’s concerns.
“Joe Biden will not hold back US concerns about China,” Psaki said on Friday, Nov. 12.
Furthermore, addressing the press conference, Psaki said that one of the goals of the upcoming appointment is to also discuss areas where there is significant concern and disagreement. She said Biden and Jinping would meet to discuss ways to “responsibly manage” competition between the two countries, as well as ways to work together where US interests align. However, it’s likely that there won’t be any major resolutions as a result of the call, Psaki said, adding, “I wouldn’t put the expectation…that this is meant to have significant results or outcomes.”
It is worth mentioning that the virtual summit between the two leaders will be their third engagement since February. It comes after Washington and Beijing pledged at COP26 this week to step up cooperation and accelerate action to curb climate-damaging emissions. The deal calls for increased climate action in the 2020s using the guidelines of the 2015 Paris climate agreement and concrete and pragmatic regulations on decarbonisation, reducing methane emissions and combating deforestation.
“We are primarily engaged with members of Congress and with technical advice that provides technical assistance with legislation currently being processed by Congress, as well as taking measures of our own including visa restrictions, global Magnitsky and financial sanctions, export controls , import restrictions, issuing a corporate advisory and convening the G7 to take action to ensure all global supply chains are free from the use of forced labor,” Psaki said.
Jinping expected to invite Biden to Beijing Winter Olympics
Meanwhile, citing two people familiar with the matter, CNBC reported that Jinping is expected to use the discussion to personally invite Biden to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. For now, the White House and National Security Council have declined to comment on how Biden would respond to such an invitation. It is worth mentioning, however, that if the US president declines the invitation, it could put an already tense relationship between Washington and Beijing on ice. But if accepted, he could contradict his own government’s message on democracy and human rights, as there have been mounting calls to boycott the Beijing Winter Games over human rights violations in China, including against Uyghur Muslims.