Xi, Biden to meet amid international anticipation
Published: Nov 10, 2023 09:08 PM
China US Photo:VCG

China US Photo:VCG

At the invitation of US President Joe Biden, President Xi Jinping will be in San Francisco from November 14 to 17 for a China-US summit meeting and the 30th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying announced on Friday.

The two Presidents will have in-depth communication on issues of strategic, overarching and fundamental importance in shaping China-US relations and major issues concerning world peace and development, said a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry in a separate release.

Xi's trip to APEC upon invitation reflects the great importance China attaches to Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, according to the release.

With mounting factors of instability and uncertainty in the world economy, there is a widely shared expectation for the Asia-Pacific to remain an economic engine to lead global growth.

APEC is a key platform for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. President Xi will deliver an important speech at the meeting to fully elaborate on China's major propositions on deepening Asia-Pacific cooperation and driving regional and global growth.

We hope that all parties will remember what brought countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific together in the first place, focus on the region's urgent needs, deepen solidarity and cooperation, deliver on the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 in an all-round and balanced way, and work for positive outcomes at the meeting, so as to provide new growth impetus for the Asia-Pacific and the wider world and jointly build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future, the release said.

Key bilateral summit

The China-US summit meeting, highly anticipated by the world, comes at a time when the world's two major powers, despite fierce competition in technology and other fields, have resumed contact and maintained frequent interactions at different levels in various sectors in recent months.

Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng is currently in San Francisco for talks with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday and Friday, the second face-to-face communication in four months after their July talks in Beijing.

A VOA reporter said the talks were taking place in a relatively warm and moderate atmosphere, which is seen as a reflection of the recent improvement in relations between the two countries.

Positive signs in recent weeks also include a breakthrough in the field of arms control and nonproliferation talks, which had been frozen for years, and dialogue on climate change.

President Xi replied to a letter from Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Xinhua reported on Friday. The ensemble is the epitome of China-US people-to-people exchanges that are the foundation and source of strength for bilateral relations.

However, for this important but also turbulent relationship, the face-to-face meeting of the two heads of state is no doubt of great importance in guiding the bilateral ties to the right track, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday. The summit comes at a pivotal juncture when bilateral relations could either herald a relatively stable future based on mutual benefit and cooperation, or step closer toward a new cold war, said Li.

"China reiterated its apparent decision to go for cooperation."

During the upcoming summit, the US is expected to keep communication channels open and consolidate existing mechanisms while seeking breakthroughs on climate change and fentanyl control issues, Sun Taiyi, assistant professor of Political Science at Christopher Newport University, told the Global Times on Friday. China will underscore its openness and market attractiveness to the world through trade and economic issues, injecting new momentum into the global economy, the expert said.

The Taiwan question and other sensitive topics such as the South China Sea are likely to be on the agenda, where China will not yield to coercion in its stance. The two leaders will also likely cover global issues, including the Ukraine crisis and Israel-Palestine conflict to avoid spillover or further impact on global security, said Li.

Photo: VCG

People walk under signs for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings ahead of the summit at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, on US time November 9, 2023. The APEC meetings are scheduled on November 11-17.  Photo: VCG

Global hopes

The fact that China steps up efforts to stabilize ties shows its strong sense of responsibility. Without collaboration between China and the US, it will be very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to address global crises including drug control, climate change, and contentious regional conflicts, Li noted.

Sun said that the two leaders' meeting can send a positive signal to the world that the two major powers, while competing with each other fiercely, can stabilize the relationship and manage differences in a proper way.

However, some US actions have raised concerns from China and disrupted the global economy, including restrictions on Chinese companies such as an executive order on restrictions of high-end artificial intelligence chips in October.

The US has so far added over 1,300 Chinese entities and individuals to various sanctions lists, which are getting longer and longer. It has also kept in place illegal punitive tariffs on a large amount of Chinese products.

While engaging with China on arms control, the US has not stopped its military operations along with allies in the vicinity of Chinese territories.

Observers said it is hoped that the US can properly reciprocate China's sincerity and goodwill, and work with China to shoulder the responsibility of major powers and jointly cope with global challenges, in particular injecting positivity into the Asia-Pacific and a world troubled by a sluggish economy and other challenges.

President Xi's visit to the US will definitely be a strategic and guiding one to ensure that the China-US relationship, the most important bilateral relationship, will stabilize and improve, Li said.

"We look forward to the important summit, and also further implementation of consensus reached by the two leaders," said the expert.