Working-level talks are underway to confirm details for the planned meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Karine Jean-Pierre, chief deputy White House press secretary, said at a briefing Monday.
Jean-Pierre stated that the meeting will be part of the discussions on “responsible management” of competition between the two major economies of the world. The virtual bilateral meeting will be held sometime “before the end of the year,” the deputy press secretary added.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had suggested the said virtual meeting after an hour-long “candid conversation” with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty (G20) summit. At the meeting, Blinken underlined the importance of maintaining open lines of communication in order to “responsibly manage” competition between the US and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Tune in for a briefing with Deputy Assistant Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg. https://t.co/3XiUdLVJiT
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) Nov 8, 2021
The announcement comes amid mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing over several issues, including China’s aggressive behavior in the Indo-Pacific region. Notably, the meeting will also come on the heels of another spat between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” in the United Nations.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden’s vigorous attacks on Chinese actions against human rights in the country have also widened the rift between the two countries. Recently, Beijing’s “lack of urgency” regarding climate commitments has fueled ongoing battles as the absence of the Chinese president at the COP26 summit on climate change was widely criticized by Biden and former US President Barack Obama.
Jinping makes no new climate pledges at COP26
Hopes for strong action to combat climate change seemed to wane as China withdrew from COP26, alongside Russia. Both countries – which are major contributors to industrial carbon emissions – have also made no new commitments to strengthen measures against climate change.
In a written address to COP26, Jinping claimed it will continue to prioritize previously announced Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) such as environmental conservation and a green and low-carbon path. Jinping stressed the need to maintain multilateral consensus on global challenges and urged world leaders to “set realistic goals” and take appropriate action, but made no new climate commitments.
“It is important to harness innovations in science and technology to transform and upgrade our energy and resource sectors, as well as industrial structure and consumption patterns,” said Jinping, pointing to the importance of implementing the green transition.