Biden to outline 'red lines' in meeting with Xi Jinping at G20 summit

Leaders expected to discuss 'efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication', competition management and pathways to co-operation

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ensuring an open line of communication between the global competitors will be central to the discussion, the White House said. AP
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US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet on Monday for their first in-person talks ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, the White House confirmed.

The leaders are expected to discuss “efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication”, competition management and pathways to co-operation, a senior Biden administration official told reporters.

Mr Biden said on Wednesday that he will make “no fundamental concessions” to Mr Xi and that he is focused on determining the respective countries' “red lines” on conflicting interests.

“I've told [Beijing] I'm looking for competition, not conflict,” Mr Biden said.

The leaders have spoken five times since Mr Biden was elected president, but the G20 meeting will be their first in-person discussion.

The White House believes the meeting is important to “establishing a floor” for the Biden-Xi relationship, the administration official said.

“I don't think the two leaders are going to be able to sit down and solve all of their differences to their problems, but this could be an important step along the way,” the official said.

The meeting comes amid increased worries of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, challenging its autonomous status.

Mr Biden drew condemnation from China earlier this year when he said Washington would defend Taiwan if Beijing invaded.

The head of the US Navy said last month that China could attempt to reunify with Taiwan as soon as this year.

Mr Xi said on Tuesday that Beijing will “comprehensively strengthen its military training and preparation for any war”, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Pictures of Mr Xi in military uniform circulated in Chinese media this week.

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects the Central Military Commission joint operations command centre. AP

Tension between the US and China over Taiwan escalated when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a visit to Taipei in August, despite warnings from officials in both Beijing and Washington.

Ensuring an open line of communication between the global competitors will be central to the discussion, but there will not be a joint statement following the meeting, the Biden administration official told reporters on Thursday.

“This is not a meeting that is being driven by deliverables,” the official added.

Mr Biden is also expected to discuss co-operation on climate change as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine with Mr Xi.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 gathering in person, but may join via video link, officials from Moscow and the host country Indonesia said on Thursday.

Updated: November 14, 2022, 7:25 AM
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