US President Joe Biden is set to virtually meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday amid rising tensions between the two countries on several issues concerning Taiwan, arms control, trade, and human rights.
This will be the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office. This meeting is likely to cover several topics including tensions over China’s military activity near Taiwan and human rights, as well as issues concerning climate change. This virtual meeting comes after the US and China reached a deal on a joint statement on the need to tackle climate change at COP26 in Glasgow, UK.
Ahead of the highly anticipated virtual meeting, a senior Chinese diplomat warned the US to “stop manipulating the Taiwan card to contain and encircle the Chinese mainland.”
Chinese experts predict the Taiwan question will be a major topic of concern at the meeting, state media tabloid Global Times reported.
“It’s hard to say whether China and the US will reach any consensus on this question, but the US has to make some concrete promises in accordance with the one-China principle and in response to China’s concerns, otherwise it would affect the outcome of the meeting between the top leaders as well as the future China-US relationship,” said Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, told the GT on Sunday.
Ahead of the talks between heads of the two economic powerhouses, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed concerns over China’s approach to Taiwan to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on November 12 with PRC State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Secretary discussed preparations for President Biden’s upcoming virtual meeting with President Xi Jinping, noting the meeting presents an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss how to responsibly manage competition between the United States and the PRC while working together in areas where interests align,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a Saturday (local time) statement.
In the statement, Blinken urged Beijing to engage in dialogue to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully.
“The Secretary emphasized long-standing US interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and expressed concern regarding the PRC’s continued military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan,” Price said.
According to the State Department, Blinken also discussed with his Chinese counterpart the recovery of the global GDP in light of inflation and supply chain disruptions.
Price said that Blinken “stressed the importance of taking measures to ensure global energy supply and price volatility do not imperil global economic recovery.”