Biden’s Aim in Assembly With Xi: Keep away from a Spiraling Battle

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When President Biden meets President Xi Jinping of China at a lush property on the sting of Silicon Valley on Wednesday, his main purpose might be easy: discover a solution to keep away from an more and more bitter competitors with China from tipping into battle.

For 2 leaders who’ve agreed on little or no as their nations have spiraled into their worst relationship in 4 a long time, there have been hints of how they are going to attempt to nudge towards the looks of settlement. A senior administration official stated they’re anticipated to achieve the define of an settlement that might commit Beijing to regulating elements of fentanyl, the drug that has pushed a devastating opioid epidemic in the USA. However China has made comparable commitments earlier than.

They’re prone to announce a brand new discussion board for a dialogue of how you can preserve synthetic intelligence applications away from nuclear command and management — on the identical second the USA is denying China the superior chips it must develop and prepare A.I. applications. And they’ll most likely talk about resuming military-to-military communications, which China lower off after Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan final yr, when she was speaker of the Home. However there have been durations of military-to-military contact because the George W. Bush administration.

The interactions between the 2 leaders after they meet on the lush Filoli property, a historic home and backyard simply northwest of the Stanford campus, have been fastidiously choreographed. Senior Chinese language officers have mentioned them in conferences with Mr. Biden’s most trusted aides, together with Jake Sullivan, the nationwide safety adviser, and Antony J. Blinken, the secretary of state.

However loads of thorny points stay to complicate the discussions, together with some Mr. Biden’s aides have stated he intends to boost, such because the wars in Ukraine and Gaza and the upcoming election in Taiwan, a self-governing island that China claims as its personal.

In briefing after briefing, administration officers have tried to decrease expectations in regards to the form of concrete commitments that used to encompass such summits, saying that the mere indisputable fact that the leaders of the world’s high two economies, and most potent militaries, are speaking once more is itself an indication of progress.

Graham Allison, a Harvard professor and the writer of a guide asking whether or not the 2 international locations are destined for conflict, wrote in The National Interest that the assembly would encapsulate what he known as “two contradictory however nonetheless inescapable info.”

“First, the U.S. and China would be the fiercest rivals historical past has ever seen,” he wrote. “Second, every nation’s very survival requires a level of cooperation from the opposite.”

Mr. Biden arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon with town locked down for the summit for Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation, often called APEC, a gaggle of 21 international locations that encompass the Pacific Ocean. (He dispatched Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen to fulfill Mr. Xi when he landed in San Francisco on Tuesday night.)

Mr. Biden’s solely public occasion on Tuesday was a fund-raiser alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, throughout which he advised that financial headwinds in China, together with the Biden administration’s work to construct a community of companions within the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese language ambition, had introduced Mr. Xi to the negotiating desk.

“President Xi is one other instance of how re-establishing American management on the planet is taking maintain,” Mr. Biden instructed the gang. “They’ve obtained actual issues, of us.”

It was hardly the primary time that Mr. Biden has referred to China’s financial slowdown, and it was solely 5 months in the past that he referred to him as a “dictator,” a remark that his advisers shortly tried to again up.

No joint assertion might be approaching Wednesday to attempt to easy over such robust discuss. American officers say every authorities will present its personal account of the discussions.