Biden-Jinping meeting: what’s on the agenda?

Nov 14, 2023, 1:00 PM

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 04: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands with U.S Vice President ...

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 04: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands with U.S Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People on December 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. U.S Vice President Joe Biden will pay an official visit to China from December 4 to 5. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO — On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will meet with China’s President, Xi Jinping in San Francisco, California. Both sides will bring their priorities to the meeting. 

Phelim Kine, a China correspondent for Politico said, “I guess we could say this is the climax of that summer of diplomacy, of diplomatic outreach that the Biden administration launched toward China.” 

Kine told KSL NewsRadio’s Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson that three cabinet secretaries have visited China this year. John Kerry, the presidential envoy for climate change, also visited early this year. The Biden-Jinping meeting is a culmination of the efforts. 

Kine said that expectations are low for the meeting. The U.S. and China’s relationship remains at its lowest in 50 years. 

“To a large extent, what both sides are trying to do is try to slow down or stem the slide in that relationship toward potential kinetic military conflict somewhere in the Indo-Pacific, or across the Taiwan Strait,” said Kine. He added that it’s important the sides reach some understanding so the relationship can remain somewhat stable. 

Biden-Jinping meeting priorities

Kine said Biden will attempt to convince President Jinping to “do something about that flow of precursor chemicals that come from China, go to Mexico get processed by the cartels into fentanyl.”

Chinese companies manufacture the chemicals. They are precursors to fentanyl and methamphetamine. Kine said, they kill “tens of thousands of Americans every year.” 

According to Kine, another item on Biden’s list of priorities is to re-establish military contact. China suspended contact with the U.S. military in 2022 following Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. 

“That’s a dangerous thing [not to have] connected at a time when you have an ongoing series of dangerous and provocative interventions in the Indo-Pacific, in the Taiwan Strait between Chinese jet fighters and U.S. vessels and aircraft,” Kine said. 

Additionally, Biden will look for reassurance from China’s president on the country’s involvement in two international conflicts. 

First, Biden will pursue reassurance that China will not assist Russia in the war in Ukraine. “That’s something, to a large extent, the Chinese have not done,” Kine said. They have not shipped equipment to Russia. 

China has acknowledged Biden’s warning that the U.S. will place economic sanctions on their country if they become involved. 

Secondly, Biden will seek reassurance that China is using its leverage on Iran to prevent the Israel-Hamas war’s spread throughout the Middle East. 

For President Jinping, connecting with businesses foreign to China will be on the list, according to Kine. 

“He’s dealing with … a sputtering economy and he needs U.S. help in order to stabilize it,” Kine said. 

In August, Bloomberg reported that China has been looking to attract foreign investment into its economy. It has been experiencing a slump in foreign investment in its economy. According to CNN, increased international tensions are to blame. 

Kine said the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting is “big and ambitious.” 


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Biden-Jinping meeting: what’s on the agenda?