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Joe Biden 'aiming' for 'constructive' talks with Xi Jinping: US

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden is expected to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit in San Francisco in November for “constructive” talks, the White House said on Tuesday (Oct 31).

The comments came days after China’s foreign minister made a rare visit to Washington to pave the way for Xi to meet Biden at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

China has not yet confirmed that Xi will come.

“We’re aiming to have a constructive conversation, meeting between the leaders in San Francisco in November,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said of the long-awaited talks.

“That’s what’s going to happen next month in November. We’re having a constructive conversation in San Francisco. I think I just confirmed it,” she added.

A senior US administration official told AFP: “There is an agreement in principle to meet in San Francisco in November. We are still working through important details needed to finalise those plans.”

Biden and Xi have had no contact since a meeting in Bali in November 2022.

Relations have been tense for years between the world’s top two economies as they vie for influence in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, and as Beijing boosts cooperation with Russia in a bid to reduce US dominance.

After Beijing’s top diplomat Wang Yi met senior US officials last week, the White House said that the two sides were “working together towards a meeting”.

But the Chinese foreign minister said on Saturday that the road to talks was still “not smooth”.

Wang told a Washington event hosted by the Aspen Strategy Group that “both sides hope to stabilise and improve bilateral relations as soon as possible and agreed to work together toward a San Francisco summit between the two heads of state”, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“The path to San Francisco is not smooth and cannot be left to ‘autopilot’,” Wang warned, according to Xinhua.

The two sides must “eliminate interference, overcome obstacles, enhance consensus and accumulate results”, he said.

Related:

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