Xi, Biden arrive for key San Francisco summit

By AFP   November 14, 2023 | 06:31 pm PT
Xi, Biden arrive for key San Francisco summit
California Governor Gavin Newsom (R) and his partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom (L) look on as Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) arrives at San Francisco International Airport. Photo by AFP/Frederic J.Brown
U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday on the eve of an eagerly awaited meeting between the leaders of the world's two largest economies.

The pair will huddle on the sidelines of the APEC summit in California for their first encounter in a year as trade tensions, sanctions and the question of Taiwan have fueled quarrels between Washington and Beijing.

Biden characterized the meeting as a chance to right ties that have floundered in recent years.

"We're not trying to decouple from China. What we're trying to do is change the relationship for the better," Biden told reporters at the White House before heading to San Francisco.

Asked what he hoped to achieve at the meeting, he said he wanted "to get back on a normal course of corresponding; being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another if there's a crisis; being able to make sure our [militaries] still have contact with one another."

But Biden also warned that the United States was wary of investing in China due to Beijing's business practices.

"I'm not going to continue to sustain the support for positions where if we want to invest in China, we have to turn over all our trade secrets," he said.

The two presidents are expected to meet for several hours Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.

The forum brings together 21 economies, which together account for about 60 percent of the world economy.

They are both also expected to meet major business leaders and hold a number of other bilateral meetings.

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