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Joe Biden to press Xi Jinping on reopening army communications at San Francisco summit


Nov 11, 2023


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Joe Biden will press Xi Jinping on the necessity to revive communications between the US and Chinese language militaries when the 2 presidents maintain a summit forward of subsequent week’s Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation discussion board.

The White Home on Friday mentioned Biden and Xi would meet within the San Francisco Bay space on Wednesday earlier than they attend Apec. The 2 sides try to resume efforts to stabilise relations amid rising tensions over points together with Chinese language army exercise close to Taiwan and US efforts to cease China from securing cutting-edge US expertise.

The summit might be their second in-person assembly as leaders and comes one 12 months after they met on the G20 in Bali, Indonesia. Xi has not been to the US since April 2017 when he met then-president Donald Trump in Florida. Xi is predicted to attend a dinner with US executives after assembly Biden.

US officers mentioned the leaders would talk about a spread of issues, together with the prospect of reopening army communication channels that China shut final 12 months after then-US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

Washington has been vocal in elevating concern about Chinese language fighter jets flying too near US spy planes and surveillance plane flown by US allies, together with Canada, over the South China Sea.

“The president has been decided to take the required steps to revive what we imagine are central communications between the US and China on the army facet,” mentioned one US official.

The official mentioned Biden would elevate considerations with Xi about “harmful” and “provocative” Chinese language army exercise round Taiwan, which has soared for the reason that US president took workplace almost three years in the past.

“The president has made these factors persistently, and he’ll accomplish that once more subsequent week in San Francisco,” the official mentioned.

Officers mentioned Biden would additionally talk about the battle in Ukraine with Xi. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Friday mentioned she had informed her counterpart He Lifeng in a two-day assembly in San Francisco that the US wished Beijing to crack down on personal Chinese language corporations promoting tools to Russia to facilitate Moscow’s struggle with Kyiv.

“I burdened . . . that it’s crucial to us that corporations not present materials for Russia’s defence industrial sector and that we had been ready to place in place additional sanctions,” Yellen mentioned. “We wish to see China crack down [on the companies], particularly after we present info.”

Officers burdened that the Biden-Xi summit, which follows months of high-level engagements, didn’t mark a change in US coverage in direction of China however a recognition that the powers wanted efficient channels of communication.

“Intense competitors requires and calls for intense diplomacy to handle tensions and to forestall competitors from verging into battle,” the US official mentioned. “Diplomacy is how we clear up misperceptions, sign, talk, keep away from surprises and clarify our aggressive steps.”

Xie Feng, China’s ambassador to the US, mentioned the 2 presidents would have “in-depth communication on problems with strategic, overarching and basic significance in shaping China-US relations and main points regarding world peace and growth”.

US-China relations are of their worst state for the reason that international locations normalised diplomatic ties in 1979. Washington is worried about points together with the Chinese language export of elements for fentanyl, an artificial opioid that’s now the main killer of younger Individuals.

Beijing, in the meantime, is crucial of US efforts to restrain its army modernisation by way of export controls designed to gradual its progress in creating superior chips for purposes resembling synthetic intelligence and quantum computing.

When the 2 leaders met in Bali final November, they agreed on the necessity to stabilise relations to cut back the possibilities of rising competitors between the rivals veering into army battle.

However efforts to set a “flooring” below the connection had been derailed when a suspected Chinese language spy balloon flew over the US in February.

Yellen mentioned the US and China had improved communications in latest months. She mentioned she had held detailed discussions in regards to the Chinese language economic system with He, China’s vice-premier, and that Beijing believed it was “forcefully addressing” its home financial points, together with the disaster in its property market. 

The Treasury secretary mentioned Chinese language officers had been eager to keep away from additional inflating the nation’s property market or including extra debt to native governments’ stability sheets. “They don’t wish to put in place measures that would supply some short-term enhance to the economic system however on the expense of exacerbating longer-term issues,” Yellen mentioned.

Noting China’s declining holdings of US Treasuries, she mentioned Chinese language officers had been eager to forestall additional depreciation of their forex and “it could not be stunning if they’re working down Treasury holdings to some extent with the intention to help their forex”.

Yellen mentioned the 2 sides had not mentioned Beijing’s delay in approving US chip group Broadcom’s $69bn acquisition of VMware, which has compelled the businesses to postpone closing the merger.



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