U.S. President Joe Biden met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday outside of San Francisco, where heads of Asia-Pacific economies are gathering. Biden who said he still sees the Chinese leader as a "dictator" said the two agreed to re-establish military communications, work together to assess the threats posed by artificial intelligence, and take meaningful steps to combat the scourge of fentanyl. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Woodside, California.
A historic meeting of East and West, after 12 months of intense drama and diplomacy between Beijing and Washington. The White House chose this venue outside of San Francisco for this symbolic visit, covering a range of key issues, including Taiwan – the self-governing island that China claims, the resumption of military communications, touchy trade disagreements, the origination of fentanyl ingredients in China, and human rights issues.
Biden said he was candid on those tough issues. Xi said the two nations are inextricably linked.
For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option. It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other.
So did the presidents of the world’s two most powerful nations manage to paper over the cracks in their relationship?
Biden spoke to the press afterward. Xi, as is his habit, did not. But, in response to a shouted question, he reiterated a stance that is likely to upset Beijing, that he believes Xi is a dictator.
Well, look, he is. I mean he’s a dictator ...
Many watching this meeting said they weren’t expecting major results but are glad the two are talking.
Malaysian prime minister
This engagement, for example, between President Biden and Xi Jinping, to me it is critical because it should give a clear message that we are here to be able to work together and trust each other to resolve serious problems: climate, issues in Ukraine or Gaza..
Analysts say the success of the summit of Asia-Pacific economies – happening simultaneously in San Francisco – depends on the world’s two largest economies getting along.
Council on Foreign Relations
Well, I think it’s an important meeting between President Biden and President Xi, with the primary goal of stabilizing the relationship heading into 2024. Being both for bilateral purposes but also very importantly for the broader APEC region. The countries there, the economies there, want the U.S. and China to have some kind of modus vivendi, some kind of stable relationship, particularly in anticipation of Taiwan’s election in January, the U.S. election in November.
Biden said he and Xi will continue to communicate and cooperate. The world, he said, expects it.
Anita Powell, VOA News, Woodside, California.
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