Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the US for crucial summit with President Bidenfor his first visit in six years, as President Joe Biden expressed his goal to reestablish regular communication channels with Beijing, including military contacts.
The high-stakes bilateral talks are set to take place near San Francisco, marking their first face-to-face meeting in a year.
Months of preparatory meetings preceded this summit, following heightened tensions between the two nations on issues ranging from trade to human rights and the global pandemic.
President Biden, speaking before his departure, emphasized the aim of improving the bilateral relationship.
We’re not trying to decouple from China. What we’re trying to do is change the relationship for the better.- President Biden
Xi Jinping, greeted by US officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, encountered both support and opposition from the public.
Supporters waving Chinese and US flags were present, alongside a few anti-Xi protesters. The significance of these talks has not been lost on analysts, with Alicia Garcia Herrero of Natixis.
The importance of the much-expected meeting between President Biden and President Xi in San Francisco cannot be understated.- Alicia Garcia Herrero of Natixis
Crowds gathered along Xi's motorcade route, holding signs with messages ranging from "End CCP" to "Warmly Welcome President Xi Jinping."
Near the Moscone Center, where many of the APEC meetings were place, protestors of both pro and anti-Chinese sentiment gathered.
The summit is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, and larger demonstrations critical of Xi's policies in Tibet, Hong Kong, and against Muslim Uyghurs are likely to take place in the area.
Scuffles broke out between pro-China and anti-China demonstrators, with larger protests anticipated near the summit venue.
The Chinese foreign ministry mentioned that "in-depth communication" on "major issues concerning world peace" is one of the summit's expectations.
While economic matters, such as addressing the production of synthetic opioids, are expected to be discussed, geopolitical tensions are likely to dominate the talks.
White House National Security Spokesperson John Kirby revealed that discussions would extend to the Israel-Hamas conflict and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Blinken did not directly name China, but his words were consistent with previous US rhetoric that has accused Beijing of seeking to undermine what the US and its allies term the "rules-based" international order by squeezing smaller nations in the Asia-Pacific.
[The US believed in] a region where economies are free to choose their own path … where goods, ideas, people flow lawfully and freely.- Secretary of State Antony Blinken
As leaders converge at the Filoli Estate, about 40km south of San Francisco, the world watches closely, awaiting the outcomes of these critical diplomatic talks.
US President Joe Biden, right, and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands as they meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 14, 2022.
The arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the United States for crucial talks with President Joe Biden marks a significant diplomatic moment.
The summit, set against a backdrop of recent tensions and months of preparation, holds the promise of restoring normalcy in the bilateral relationship.
As supporters and protesters gather, and the leaders convene at the Filoli Estate, the world watches with anticipation.
The outcomes of these discussions, spanning economic issues, geopolitical tensions, and global conflicts, will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of US-China relations and have far-reaching implications on the international stage.