The White House has confirmed Friday that President Biden and China's Xi Jinping will hold a high-stakes virtual meeting set for Monday evening. It will be the first bilateral summit between the two since Biden's entry into office.
In announcing the meeting during the Friday White House press briefing, Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki emphasized a theme of "responsibly managing" competition between the two economic and military giants. Psaki said that throughout the talks, "President Biden will make clear US intentions and priorities and be clear and candid about our concerns with the PRC."
"The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC, as well as ways to work together where our interests align," Psaki said.
The two sides have been reportedly working behind the scenes for weeks in order to secure Monday's summit, which began in earnest at the start of this month during discussions between delegations led by US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Chinese counterpart, top diplomat Yang Jiechi.
President Biden had also while attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland laid out that his intent to seek "competition" and not "conflict" with China. "I want to make sure there's no misunderstanding. It's competition, not conflict," Biden said at the time.
In more recent statements that followed this, China's Xi wrote in a letter to the New York-based National Committee on US-China Relations days ago that Beijing and Washington must work together on a basis of "mutual respect".
"Cooperation is the only right choice," he said, according to the contents of the letter:
"Right now, China-U.S. relations are at a critical historical juncture," Xi said, according to a letter addressed to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, a New York-based non-profit.
"Both countries will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation," Xi said in the letter. "Cooperation is the only right choice."
"Following the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, China stands ready to work with the United States to enhance exchanges and cooperation across the board," the letter added.
Apparently these recent positive words initiated enough momentum leading to finalizing the virtual summit for Monday - quite unlike last spring's testy and fiery atmosphere of widely considered 'failed' US-China summit in Anchorage, where the Chinese delegation had reportedly at one point stormed out of the hotel where talks were being held.
WHITE HOUSE SAYS DOES NOT EXPECT BIDEN TO HOLD NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER XI CALL— zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 12, 2021
no time to draft teleprompted remarks and someone might ask a question that Beijing frowns on