Biden hugs aides as Xi arrives in San Francisco

Biden hugs aides as Xi arrives in San Francisco

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President Joe Biden, eager to showcase US leadership to Beijing and Moscow, is leading another major summit this week, but this time guests will include not only allies but also Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Biden will welcome in San Francisco the 20 other members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which was conceived three decades ago in an era when US policymakers believed stronger trade would bring the Pacific Rim closer together.

That optimistic outlook is gone, with the Biden administration pushing for only a limited economic agreement in APEC and in recent months increasing sanctions against China, seen as the main challenger to America’s global primacy. Is.

But both the United States and China have expressed hope for greater stability and – a trip to Washington is politically unfeasible, and US elections are a year away – APEC is a unique chance for Xi to see Biden on US soil.

The Biden-Xi meeting on Wednesday – their first since the G20 summit in Bali a year ago – is expected to raise broader issues of disagreement, including Taiwan, whose elections in two months could spark fresh tensions with Beijing, which Claims to be a self-governing democracy and has not ruled out seizing it by force.

A US official expressed hope that Xi and Biden would “open new lines of communication” amid America’s desire to restore contact between the two militaries, which is seen as particularly important for managing the Taiwan crisis.

Jude Blanchett, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that for other leaders in San Francisco, APEC risks “feeling like a sideline” to Biden and Xi, but the meeting is likely to bring relief to them as well. Is.

He said, “Even those countries in the region that are exceptionally concerned about China’s growing aggression still have deep economic ties with China and the marginalized countries are looking for a stable US-China relationship rather than an unstable one.” Will give priority to the relationship.

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