The US and Chinese presidents will meet via video link on Monday
Yesterday, Friday, the White House said that US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will hold a video meeting on Monday, amid escalating differences between Washington and Beijing.
A statement by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the two leaders “will discuss responsibly how to manage competition” and how to “work together when our interests meet.”
During the meeting, Psaki said, Biden would be “clear and frank about the concerns” of the United States about China.
The two presidents have spoken by phone twice since Biden’s inauguration.
The US president has never hidden his desire to meet the Chinese president in person, and has criticized him for his absence from the Group of Twenty and COP 26 summits.
The US president rejects the term “cold war” and prefers “competition” or “confrontation” with China. Biden has made competition with Beijing the main focus of his foreign policy.
Relations between the two largest economies in the world have deteriorated in recent weeks, against the background of several files, from trade to human rights to China’s regional ambitions, which prompted Biden to strengthen his regional alliances in Asia.
Monday’s talks come in line with Washington’s desire to keep “channels of communication” open at the highest level, after contacts at the ministerial level have not always gone well in recent times.
Jane Psaki said the White House is very keen to establish a “chairman-to-president relationship”, but that “not because we are looking for concrete results or decisions” but rather in order to “set the terms of the competition.”