Biden and China’s Xi to discuss competition and limiting conflict at meeting next week

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at a summit of Pacific Rim nations in the San Francisco Bay area, the White House announced on Friday.

Biden will meet with Xi next Wednesday to “discuss issues in the U.S.-PRC bilateral relationship, the continued importance of maintaining open lines of communication, and a range of regional and global issues,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The meeting comes about a year after the two leaders last met in person, during the G20 summit of leading wealthy and developing nations in Bali, Indonesia.

“Building on their last meeting in November 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, the leaders will also discuss how the United States and the PRC can continue to responsibly manage competition and work together where our interests align, particularly on transnational challenges that affect the international community,” Jean-Pierre added, referring to China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China.

In the last year, a senior administration official noted that Biden has “deepened our alliances” abroad, including with Australia and other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, India and the Philippines.

The official said, “Now is precisely the time for high-level diplomacy. Our approach is steady and consistent. We’re not stepping back from our interests and values.”

Another senior administration official said that since the leaders last met in Bali, the U.S. has restored diplomatic interactions with Chinese counterparts, highlighting trips to Beijing made by the secretaries of state, treasury and commerce.

“The goals here really are about managing the competition, preventing the downside risk of conflict, and ensuring channels of communication are open,” the official said.

The U.S. and China have also “launched a number of working-level consultations with the PRC in discreet, carefully chosen areas where deeper discussion can benefit us and global interests, such as arms control, maritime issues, and macroeconomic and debt issues,” the official noted.

At the same time, there have been periods of rising tension between both nations, especially after the downing earlier this year of an alleged Chinese spy balloon over U.S. territory and amid Ukraine’s war with Russia.

The leaders are expected to discuss a range of regional and global issues, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

When asked if the meeting would be held in the city of San Francisco, officials declined to specify the exact location, citing operational security reasons.

Meanwhile, Republicans on the House Select Committee on China are urging Biden ahead of his meeting with Xi to modify U.S. policy toward China and to “challenge Beijing” to prove that it wants to improve relations with the U.S.

Rebecca Shabad

Rebecca Shabad is a politics reporter for NBC News based in Washington.

Molly Roecker

Molly Roecker is a journalist for NBC News in New York.

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