Biden will meet with China’s Xi Jinping next month, White House says

China’s President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden at the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian island of Bali on Nov. 14, 2022.

Saul Loeb | Afp | Getty Images

WASHINGTON  President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The leaders of the world’s two largest economies are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit in San Francisco.

“Intense competition means intense diplomacy,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing. “Our policy and how we move forward with China has not changed.”

Jean-Pierre declined to provide details about Biden’s agenda other than he is expected to have “a tough conversation” with Xi.

The face to face meeting follows the discussions of Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, CIA Director Bill Burns, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and U.S. Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry.

Read more: White House restricts U.S. investment in some Chinese tech, citing national security concerns

The meeting comes as the White House works to rush security assistance and humanitarian aid to Israel amid an intensifying conflict with Hamas.

At the same time, the U.S. continues to support Ukraine as it defends its sovereign territory from a full-scale Russian invasion that has lasted more than 600 days.

These realities put additional strains on the U.S.-China relationship, which has been battered in recent years by a trade war that began during the Trump administration.

Xi is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most powerful financial ally, and support from Beijing is critical to keeping the Russian war effort alive.

The Biden administration previously warned China not to help the Russia wage its war in Ukraine.

Since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022, the United States and Western allies have imposed scores of coordinated economic sanctions on Russia in a bid to starve the Kremlin’s war machine of money it needs to keep going.

Two years of economic warfare have vaulted Russia past Iran and North Korea to become the world’s most-sanctioned country.

Read more: China and Russia affirm economic cooperation for the next several years

The sanctions have helped to make China an even more crucial ally for an increasingly isolated Russia.

Earlier this month, Xi and Putin met in Beijing to discuss additional ways to deepen their relationship. The last time the two leaders met was in March at the Kremlin.

Several weeks after the March meeting, Xi held a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It was the first time the two men had spoken since the Kremlin’s war began.

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