Biden-Xi Bilateral Meeting - 14:00 ET 19:00 GMT 1/2
14:00 ET 19:00 GMT : President Biden will cap months of intensive diplomacy today when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping for a bilateral meeting on the margins of the APEC Leaders' Summit in San Francisco. 19:15 ET 00:15 GMT : Biden will hold a rare presser. Livestream here .
- White House NSC spox John Kirby told reporters yesterday the two leaders have, "known each other a long, long time," adding that they can be "frank and forthright with one another," and the White House hopes for, "a very productive, candid, constructive conversation." Kirby declined to expand on today's agenda, suggesting that the meeting is unlikely to offer much in the way of specific deliverables.
- Kirby: "[Biden] means to compete with China. He [has] the wind at his back, from an economic perspective... He’s not going to be afraid to confront where confrontation is needed... But we’re also not going to be afraid... to engage in diplomacy..."
- Biden and Xi may announce the resumption of military-to-military lines of communication - crucial to limiting the risk of confrontation in the Indo-Pacific.
- The White House also hopes for an agreement with Beijing on precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of fentanyl in Mexico, which would provide Biden a win ahead of the 2024 presidential election, and an agreement to control the military applications of AI.
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement yesterday: "If China stopped the sale of chemicals used to make fentanyl... it would go a long way to improving China’s image in the minds of Americans."