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Radio Free Asia reports White House anticipates Biden and Xi to convene in the upcoming month

UPDATED at 7:30 p.m. ET on 10-27-2023

A White House official said Friday that preparations are underway for U.S. President Joe Biden to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in San Francisco next month.

Speaking after Biden met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Washington, the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to comment on the talks, said U.S. officials are “making preparations” for the Xi-Biden meeting next month.

“We’re working together toward such a goal,” the official said, noting that “Chinese leaders often confirm publicly much closer to a trip.”

Earlier, Biden vowed during his meeting with Wang to “work together” with Beijing, according to a readout from the White House, and said the world’s two powers “need to manage competition in the relationship responsibly and maintain open lines of communication.”

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also attended, and that Sullivan was hosting Wang at Blair House for further talks. Wang is scheduled to depart Saturday.

The meeting between Biden and Xi would take place on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco from Nov. 12-18. Kirby that no concrete plans were made Friday.

The pair have met only once since Biden took office – last year in Bali, Indonesia – and Xi has not visited America since an April 2017 trip to then-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

But Kirby cautioned patience, saying both sides “acknowledge the importance of leader-level channels of communication” and that Biden had repeatedly said he wants to meet soon with Xi.

“When there’s something to confirm, we’ll confirm it,” Kirby said.

Talk it out

Wang arrived in Washington on Thursday evening for his first trip to the United States since before the COVID-19 pandemic, with Blinken welcoming him for a “working dinner” at the State Department.

Wang told reporters before the dinner that it was important for U.S. and Chinese leaders to ignore “jarring voices” in their societies and strive for a “healthy” and “stable” relationship.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before meetings at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Blinken, in even briefer remarks, said that he was looking forward to “constructive conversations over the next few days.”

Before Wang’s meeting with Biden, the two top diplomats met again for a closed-door meeting on Friday morning, with a State Department readout saying that the pair discussed “a range of issues,” including both “areas of difference” and “areas of cooperation.”

The readout again emphasized the need for “open lines of communication” with Beijing to “responsibly manage” tense ties, language that the White House has used since the start of the thaw in relations with China in June, when Blinken visited Beijing.

Warmer ties, though, have been criticized by some in Congress.

Republican leaders on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, for instance, have called on the White House to “not fall for false promises” from a government they said had proved “an unreliable partner.”

On Friday, the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China also issued a statement saying that Biden administration officials who meet Wang “must raise the cases of Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Tibetans and other political prisoners unjustly detained in China.”

Asked whether Biden had raised any such concerns during his meeting with Wang, Kirby said that he could not offer any details.

‘Unsafe intercepts’

Wang’s trip also comes as the United States released

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