Four details convey significant messages of China-US summit in San Francisco
Published: Nov 16, 2023 11:01 AM
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Joe Biden at Filoli Estate in the U.S. state of California, Nov. 15, 2023.(Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Joe Biden at Filoli Estate in the U.S. state of California, Nov. 15, 2023.(Photo: Xinhua)

On Wednesday local time, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Joe Biden at the Filoli estate in San Francisco, California, for a China-US summit. Global Times' reporters dispatched to the US observed that four details of this summit between China and the US were particularly noteworthy, conveying significant messages.

Detail 1: The meeting venue was not at the APEC site 

Unlike bilateral meetings on the sidelines, the location of this China-US summit was at the Filoli estate in California, not at the APEC's main venue, the Moscone Center. Strictly speaking, it was not even in San Francisco but belonged to another city in California, Woodside.

This arrangement evidently conveyed a message that this China-US summit was not an "accompanying bilateral event" or a "sideline meeting" of the APEC meeting, but a separate, formal, and highly significant summit.

This point was also hinted at in the "official announcement" by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On November 10, the spokesperson announced that at the invitation of US President Joe Biden, President Xi Jinping will be in San Francisco from November 14 to 17 for a China-U.S. summit meeting and the 30th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

From the above statement, it is evident that the China-US summit and the APEC meeting were parallel events, with the summit even preceding APEC, underscoring the US' high regard for this summit.

Detail 2: The summit was held prior to the official opening of the APEC Leaders' Meeting 

Similar to the Bali summit a year ago, the timing of this China-US summit was arranged before the official opening of the APEC Leaders' Meeting.

Analysts believe that holding the China-US summit before the start of the APEC Leaders' Meeting, amid a world impacted by geopolitical turmoil and a global economy struggling to recover, sends a positive signal to the meeting itself, the world, and the global economy.

Detail 3: Red Carpet, national flags, honor guards - thoughtful arrangement of welcoming ceremony

Reporters from the Global Times observed that during the stage where the leaders of the two countries shook hands and took photos before entering the meeting venue, there was a red carpet, the flags of both countries, and honor guards from the US Marine Corps. During the handshake, President Biden was seen smiling. It can be seen that although the welcome session was brief, it was carefully arranged.

It is noteworthy that this China-US summit also included a luncheon segment. After the luncheon, the leaders of the two countries took a stroll and engaged in conversations in the Filoli estate, providing an opportunity for Xi and Biden to further discuss matters in a relatively relaxed setting.

According to sources familiar with the matter, before the summit, the US side inspected several venues, considering factors such as security, tranquility, and the overall ambiance. This underscores the importance attached to the summit.

Detail 4: Who are the US attendees at the meeting table?

Which high-ranking officials seated at the negotiation table often serves as a crucial indicator for understanding the topics under discussion and the potential outcomes of a diplomatic meeting.

In the extensive talks, apart from US President Biden himself, other notable figures representing the US include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Jake Sullivan, Biden's economic advisor Lael Brainard, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, National Security Council Kurt Campbell, US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns among others.
This lineup covered various domains, including diplomacy, trade, security, and climate, indicating the comprehensive nature of the discussions and the myriad issues of mutual concern.