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Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China
6 MINUTE READ
November 15, 2023

Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today held a Summit with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in Woodside, California.  The two leaders held a candid and constructive discussion on a range of bilateral and global issues including areas of potential cooperation and exchanged views on areas of difference.

President Biden emphasized that the United States and China are in competition, noting that the United States would continue to invest in the sources of American strength at home and align with allies and partners around the world.  He stressed that the United States would always stand up for its interests, its values, and its allies and partners.  He reiterated that the world expects the United States and China to manage competition responsibly to prevent it from veering into conflict, confrontation, or a new Cold War.

The two leaders made progress on a number of key issues. They welcomed the resumption of bilateral cooperation to combat global illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking, including synthetic drugs like fentanyl, and establishment of a working group for ongoing communication and law enforcement coordination on counternarcotics issues. President Biden stressed that this new step will advance the U.S. whole-of-government effort to counter the evolving threat of illicit synthetic drugs and to reduce the diversion of precursor chemicals and pill presses to drug cartels.

The two leaders welcomed the resumption of high-level military-to-military communication, as well as the U.S.-China Defense Policy Coordination Talks and the U.S.-China Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meetings.  Both sides are also resuming telephone conversations between theater commanders.

The leaders affirmed the need to address the risks of advanced AI systems and improve AI safety through U.S.-China government talks.

The two leaders exchanged views on key regional and global challenges.  President Biden underscored the United States’ support for a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient.  The President reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to defending our Indo-Pacific allies.  The President emphasized the United States’ enduring commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight, adherence to international law, maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

President Biden reaffirmed that the United States, alongside allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression, to ensure Ukraine emerges from this war as a democratic, independent, sovereign, and prosperous nation that can deter and defend itself against future aggression.  Regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, the President reiterated U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism and emphasized the importance of all countries using their influence to prevent escalation and expansion of the conflict.

President Biden underscored the universality of human rights and the responsibility of all nations to respect their international human rights commitments. He raised concerns regarding PRC human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.  On Taiwan, President Biden emphasized that our one China policy has not changed and has been consistent across decades and administrations.  He reiterated that the United States opposes any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side, that we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means, and that the world has an interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.  He called for restraint in the PRC’s use of military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.  President Biden also raised continued concerns about the PRC’s unfair trade policies, non-market economic practices, and punitive actions against U.S. firms, which harm American workers and families.  The President emphasized that the United States will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our own national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment.

The President again emphasized that it remains a priority to resolve the cases of American citizens who are wrongfully detained or subject to exit bans in China.

The two leaders reiterated the importance of ties between the people of the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and committed to work towards a significant further increase in scheduled passenger flights early next year, in parallel with actions to restore full implementation of the U.S.-China air transportation agreement, to support exchanges between the two countries. The two leaders also encouraged the expansion of educational, student, youth, cultural, sports, and business exchanges.

The two leaders underscored the importance of working together to accelerate efforts to tackle the climate crisis in this critical decade.  They welcomed recent positive discussions between their respective special envoys for climate, including on national actions to reduce emissions in the 2020s, on common approaches toward a successful COP 28, and on operationalizing the Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s to accelerate concrete climate actions. President Biden stated that the United States stands ready to work together with the PRC to address transnational challenges, such as health security and debt and climate finance in developing countries and emerging markets.

Building on the November 2022 meeting in Bali where they discussed the development of principles related to U.S. – China relations, the two leaders acknowledged the efforts of their respective teams to explore best practices for the relationship.  They stressed the importance of responsibly managing competitive aspects of the relationship, preventing conflict, maintaining open lines of communication, cooperating on areas of shared interest, upholding the UN Charter, and all countries treating each other with respect and finding a way to live alongside each other peacefully. The leaders welcomed continued discussions in this regard.

The two leaders agreed that their teams will follow-up on their discussions in San Francisco with continued high-level diplomacy and interactions, including visits in both directions and ongoing working-level consultations in key areas, including on commercial, economic, financial, Asia-Pacific, arms control and nonproliferation, maritime, export control enforcement, policy-planning, agriculture, and disability issues.