G20 Summit: Biden Meets Xi Jinping

For the first time since taking office, US Pres. Joe Biden met with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for sideline talks during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Monday.

G20 Summit: Biden Meets Xi Jinping
Image credit: Getty Images [via NBC News]

Facts

  • For the first time since taking office, US Pres. Joe Biden met with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for sideline talks during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Monday.
  • While the pair had met several times before Biden became president, this meeting comes at a time of fraught relations between the countries — namely over China's alleged support of Russia's war in Ukraine, Taiwan, and issues of technology and trade.
  • Talks indicate a reopening of communication lines between Beijing and Washington that had been interrupted since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August, which the PRC responded to with military drills and by suspending cooperation with America.
  • Opening the meeting, Biden stated that both countries must manage their differences "to prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict" and to cooperate on urgent global issues, while Xi expressed his hope that they would "chart the right course" for this relationship.
  • Later, Biden told reporters that North Korea and the Ukraine War were among the subjects discussed with Xi, and that both countries find the threat or use of nuclear weapons "totally unacceptable."
  • China's economic practices, as well as its actions in Hong Kong, the Taiwan Strait, Tibet, and Xinjiang, were also reportedly brought up, with Xi stating that Taiwan is a "red line" that must not be crossed.

Sources: CNN, NPR Online News, Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, USA Today, and Reuters.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by NPR Online News. While US-China relations are far from mended, this is a first and significant step in the right direction. The meeting was about building a floor with China so that relations can improve and progress on critical issues can be made going forward.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by Red State. This meeting was another shameful public appearance by Biden on his latest tour overseas. After apologizing for the US leaving the Paris Agreement under Trump and mistakenly calling Cambodia Colombia, he showed weakness and desperation in his meeting with Xi, failing to hold Beijing accountable for any of its aggression.

Predictions