As the international situation is shaken by the North Korea-Russia summit, the possibility of a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November is growing.
Following a video conference in November 2021, President Biden and President Xi Jinping held their first face-to-face summit on the occasion of the G20 summit held in Bali in November last year. If the two leaders meet at the APEC summit in San Francisco this time, it will be their first meeting in about a year.
U.S. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Political Bureau and director of the Party’s Foreign Affairs Office) met in Malta on the 17th (local time). This meeting between the two lasted for about 12 hours over two days.
As this meeting took place amid expectations that President Biden and President Xi will meet at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit to be held in San Francisco in November, discussions related to the summit are expected to have taken place.
The U.S. White House and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs both evaluated the meeting as an “honest, practical, and constructive conversation.”
In particular, the White House said, “We pledged to pursue additional high-level contacts and consultations in key areas between the United States and China in the coming months.”
The general consensus is that both the United States and China feel the need to stabilize their relationship through a summit. The general assessment among diplomats is that President Biden, who is running for re-election next year, does not want the conflict with China, the biggest issue in foreign relations amid the prolongation of the Ukraine war, to intensify again before the presidential election in November next year.
The Biden administration will continue to pursue so-called de-risking to keep China in check in strategic technology fields such as advanced semiconductors, but will also secure a military hotline to prevent accidental military conflicts in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. It seemed like there was hope.
Moreover, as North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un recently visited Russia and held a summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin, the close relationship between North Korea and Russia has been observed, and from President Biden’s perspective, the need for a meeting with President Xi has become greater.
However, the two countries confirmed differences of opinion on issues such as Taiwan. According to a senior U.S. government official, Advisor Sullivan expressed concern about China’s actions of mobilizing fighter jets to cross the midline of the Taiwan Strait, and Director Wang reaffirmed that “the Taiwan issue is the first red line that cannot be crossed in U.S.-China relations.” .