Xi Jinping with Joe Biden -Photo Credit: Reuters

Xi Jinping to meet Biden today: What is on agenda when the two leaders meet for the second time

Biden said his goal was to "be able to pick up the phone and talk to one another"

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he arrives at San Francisco International Airport to attend the APEC Summit in San Francisco, California | Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping landed in the US on Tuesday for the highly-anticipated three-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which will see the leaders from 21 nations converge in San Francisco. However, the highlight of the event is the bilateral meeting between Xi and US President Joe Biden, their second meeting after Biden assumed office in January 2021.

While Biden has stated that his idea of a successful meeting was to get back on a normal course of correspondence and “being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another whenever there is a crisis”, reports from US hint announcements on fentanyl, military communications and other key issues are likely.

What to expect

Xi, who hasn’t been to the US since 2017 when Donald Trump was the president, is likely to use the meeting to push for assurance that the US will not suppress China’s economic growth by piling on new tariffs. Beijing would also demand rollbacks in tariffs on Chinese goods, sanctions on Chinese companies and export restrictions on high-tech products such as advanced chips.

The Chinese president is also likely to address US business leaders in San Francisco and instil confidence in them that China is a safe place to invest. According to Bloomberg, China is also considering resuming purchases of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft at this meeting.

For the US, the meeting will be a venue to reiterate the US’s commitment to its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan and the Philippines.

The meeting is also expected to cover global issues from the conflict in the Middle East to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s ties with Russia, Taiwan, human rights, artificial intelligence, as well as “fair” trade and economic relations.

However, one of the goals of the meeting would be the resumption of military talks with China. “When it comes to managing the relationship, ties and communications between our two militaries are critical,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN. “The Chinese have basically severed those communication links. President Biden would like to reestablish them. And he will look to this summit as an opportunity to try to advance the ball on that.”

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