Biden will seek to “build a floor for the relationship,” and he’s expected to provide ideas on how to manage the competition between Washington and Beijing, a senior administration official told reporters.
The president said Wednesday that he aimed to resolve with Xi “what each of our red lines are … and determine whether or not they conflict with one another.”
Biden will also address concerns about China’s predatory economics and human rights violations, as well as its threats to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The two are also expected to discuss climate change, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and recent North Korean provocations.
Nevertheless, the official said it is not a meeting “being driven by deliverables.”
There will not be a joint statement, she added.
Ties between the two countries reached a low point after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taiwan over the summer, sparking condemnation from Beijing. Xi, who aims to reunify mainland China and Taiwan, has criticized the Biden administration’s posture toward the self-ruled island. He also warned that Washington wants to suppress Beijing’s growing influence.
The meeting aims to revive communication between the countries, the official said.
“Biden wants to convey … that we should keep channels open, period, and that they should be empowered to set out in the direction that the leaders set for them,” she added.
The meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit of major economies in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday will be their first one in person since the president took office.
Biden’s press secretary said in a statement that the leaders would discuss measures aimed at bolstering communication between the United States and China, managing competition “responsibly,” and working together on issues of shared interest — in particular, those with global implications.
“The Leaders will discuss efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the PRC, responsibly manage competition, and work together where our interests align, especially on transnational challenges that affect the international community,” Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “The two Leaders will also discuss a range of regional and global issues.”
Biden said Wednesday that he would discuss Taiwan, Russia, trade with Xi, and ways to avoid conflict with China without making concessions.
“What I want to do with him when we talk is lay out what each of our red lines are, understand what he believes to be in the critical national interests of China, what I know to be the critical interests of the United States, and to determine whether or not they conflict with one another. And if they do, how to resolve it and how to work it out,” he said at the White House.
However, he added, “I’m not willing to make any fundamental concessions.”