Joe Biden to meet Xi Jinping for first face to face meeting ahead of G20 summit

ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy explains the significance of President Biden meeting Xi Jinping.

President Biden will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for their first face to face meeting next week. The pair will meet in Bali on November 14 ahead of the G20 gathering of world leaders. US Correspondent Emma Murphy analyses what the two will likely discuss

President Biden and Xi Jinping know each other of old but that longevity hasn’t made for a particularly warm relationship. Both men have deep suspicions of the other, both have significant differences in how they see the global order and the role of their own nations within it. That said, the White House is very much promoting this first face to face meeting as testament to President Biden’s belief in the need to improve relations between the two super powers and seek ways to work together on issues which affect the world.

According to one senior US administration figure: “There’s no substitute for face to face talks. We want to understand and share priorities and intentions and engage in a candid and private conversation.”

Joe Biden meets virtually with Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington in November 2021. Credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

There will be a lot on the agenda and more dividing the pair than uniting, not least China’s threat to Taiwan, its human rights record and economic threats. Expect discussion too of North Korea and Russia’s war in Ukraine as well as the nuclear threat. Climate change may come up but it’s clear there’s no great feeling of optimism from the White House about any joint statements or promises of action to come from the talks. The official line is this is a “chance to build a floor for the relationship and establish the rules of the road going forward.” The translation of that is it’s going to be a low floor and rocky road.

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