Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden at the G20 summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian island of Bali on November 14, 2022.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Washington — The White House announced on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.
The leaders of the world’s two largest economies are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.
“Intense competition means intense diplomacy,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a news conference. “Our policy and how we move forward with China has not changed.”
Jean-Pierre declined to provide details about Biden’s agenda other than he is expected to have a “difficult conversation” with Xi.
The face-to-face meeting follows discussions with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, CIA Director Bill Burns, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and US Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry.
Read more: The White House is restricting US investment in some Chinese technology, citing national security concerns
The meeting comes as the White House works to accelerate security and humanitarian aid to Israel amid a growing conflict with Hamas.
At the same time, the United States continues to support Ukraine in its defense of its sovereign territory against the all-out Russian invasion that has lasted more than 600 days.
These facts impose additional pressure on relations between the United States and China, which have been damaged in recent years by the trade war that began during the Trump administration.
Xi is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strongest financial ally, and support from Beijing is crucial to keeping the Russian war effort alive.
The Biden administration has previously warned China against helping Russia wage its war in Ukraine.
Since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the United States and its Western allies have imposed dozens of coordinated economic sanctions on Russia in an attempt to starve the Kremlin war machine of the funds it needs to keep going.
Two years of economic warfare have pushed Russia past Iran and North Korea to become the world’s most sanctioned country.
Read more: China and Russia confirm economic cooperation over the next few years
The sanctions have helped make China a more important ally of a Russia that has become increasingly isolated.
Earlier this month, Xi and Putin met in Beijing to discuss additional ways to deepen their relations. The last time the two leaders met was last March in the Kremlin.
Several weeks after the March meeting, Xi held a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This was the first time the two men spoke since the Kremlin war began.
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