When President Biden meets President Xi Jinping of China at a lush property on the sting of Silicon Valley on Wednesday, his major purpose shall be easy: discover a strategy to keep away from an more and more bitter competitors with China from tipping into battle.
For two leaders who’ve agreed on little or no as their nations have spiraled into their worst relationship in 4 many years, there have been hints of how they’ll attempt to nudge towards the looks of settlement. A senior administration official mentioned they’re anticipated to achieve the define of an settlement that will commit Beijing to regulating elements of fentanyl, the drug that has pushed a devastating opioid epidemic within the United States. But China has made related commitments earlier than.
They are prone to announce a brand new discussion board for a dialogue of learn how to hold synthetic intelligence packages away from nuclear command and management — on the identical second the United States is denying China the superior chips it must develop and practice A.I. packages. And they’ll most likely talk about resuming military-to-military communications, which China reduce off after Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan final yr, when she was speaker of the House. But there have been intervals of military-to-military contact for the reason that George W. Bush administration.
The interactions between the 2 leaders once they meet on the lush Filoli property, a historic home and backyard simply northwest of the Stanford campus, have been rigorously choreographed. Senior Chinese 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.
But loads of thorny points stay to complicate the discussions, together with some Mr. Biden’s aides have mentioned he intends to lift, 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 concerning the sort 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 ebook asking whether or not the 2 nations are destined for warfare, wrote in The National Interest that the assembly would encapsulate what he known as “two contradictory but nonetheless inescapable facts.”
“First, the U.S. and China will be the fiercest rivals history has ever seen,” he wrote. “Second, each nation’s very survival requires a degree of cooperation from the other.”
Mr. Biden arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon with the town locked down for the summit for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, often called APEC, a gaggle of 21 nations 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 urged 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 ambition, had introduced Mr. Xi to the negotiating desk.
“President Xi is another example of how re-establishing American leadership in the world is taking hold,” Mr. Biden instructed the group. “They’ve got real problems, folks.”
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 rapidly tried to again up.
No joint assertion shall be approaching Wednesday to attempt to easy over such powerful discuss. American officers say every authorities will present its personal account of the discussions.