Wednesday, November 15, 2023

China's Xi arrives in California for high-stakes meeting with Biden, APEC summit

China's Xi arrives in California for high-stakes meeting with Biden, APEC summit

Tue, November 14, 2023
Chinese President Xi Jinping began his first visit to the United States in six years on Tuesday, after President Joe Biden said he aimed to restore normal communications with Beijing and his top diplomat stressed the need for freedoms that Washington says Beijing is undermining in the Asia-Pacific region.

Xi is on his first visit to the US since 2017. He is due to meet Biden at an undisclosed location in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday morning and then attend the annual summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Xi's summit with Biden will be the first face-to-face meeting between the US and Chinese leaders in a year and has been billed by US officials as an opportunity to reduce friction in what many see as the world's most dangerous rivalry.

Xi waved from the steps of his Air China plane upon arrival and descended to meet US officials on the tarmac, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns.

He then got into his Chinese Hongqi, or "Red Flag," limousine and departed the airport into San Francisco, where demonstrations are expected both for and against his visit.

Less than two hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed ministers of the 21-member APEC and stressed the US believed in "a region where economies are free to choose their own path ... where goods, ideas, people flow lawfully and freely."

Economic issues will be high on the agenda.

Restoring the contacts is a top US goal to avoid miscalculations between the two militaries.

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