Biden says meeting with China's Xi in California next month is a possibility

Meeting would be latest attempt to thaw tension between Washington and Beijing

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping last met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia last year. AFP
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US President Joe Biden said a meeting between him and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California next month remains a possibility, as his administration continues its rapprochement efforts with Beijing.

"There is no such meeting set up, but it is a possibility," he told reporters in remarks inside the White House.

The Washington Post had earlier reported that the White House is making plans for the two leaders to meet in-person on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, of which both the US and China are members.

Washington and Beijing have sought to thaw tension in recent months, with high-level officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen making visits to China.

Relations between the two powers have become frayed over Taiwan, trade restrictions and spying allegations, among other issues.

One administration official told the Post that the plan for Mr Biden and Mr Xi to meet was “pretty firm”.

Others have said there would be more clarification on a potential meeting after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Washington in the coming weeks.

Should those plans come to fruition, it would be the first time Mr Biden and Mr Xi meet since the G20 summit in Indonesia last year.

Mr Biden and cabinet officials have said that the US is not seeking to decouple from China, which has been a worry for Beijing.

San Francisco will host the Apec summit in November, which Mr Xi may attend. The Chinese leader skipped the G20 summit in New Delhi last month, while Mr Biden attended.

Updated: November 13, 2023, 10:46 AM