November 10, 2023 -BBC News –US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are to meet next week in the San Francisco Bay area, two senior administration officials said.
The encounter on 15 November will be only their second face-to-face meeting during the Biden presidency.
It will be wide-ranging, US officials said, with the Israel-Hamas war, Taiwan, war in Ukraine and election interference to be discussed.
Relations between the two countries deteriorated earlier this year.
The US accused China of sending a spy balloon across its air space. It shot it down off the coast of South Carolina.
There was also a visit to Taiwan last year by then Speaker Nancy Pelosi which led China to break off communication between the two nations’ militaries.
Mr Biden is “determined” to restore those channels, US officials said, but China appeared to be “reluctant” to do so.
“This is not the relationship of five or 10 years ago, we’re not talking about a long list of outcomes or deliverables,” one of the officials said.
“The goals here really are about managing the competition, preventing the downside of risk – of conflict, and ensuring channels of communication are open.”
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The bilateral meeting will take place during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, which the US is hosting in San Francisco from 11 to 17 November.
The American officials said US diplomats had raised the importance of re-establishing military dialogue in “nearly every conversation” that US officials had had with their Chinese counterparts over the past year, but with no success.
One of the main sticking points for re-establishing military-to-military communication is the Chinese spy balloon incident which “comes up often” when discussing the silence, one official said.
“I think the balloon episode underscored the difficulty we had at the time to be able to establish high-level, consequential communications with Beijing. And we’ve made that case persistently and consistently,” the official added.
After the incident in February, Secretary of State Antony Blinken abruptly cancelled a trip to Beijing, saying China’s decision to fly an apparent spy balloon over the US was “unacceptable and irresponsible”.
But the trip eventually went ahead in June and Mr Blinken had what he described as “a robust conversation” with Mr Xi.