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Xi and Biden to Hold Virtual Meeting Before APEC Addresses

The Chinese president has already urged leaders of the 21-member APEC group not to return to tensions of the Cold War era

China US
Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, pictured, are expected to exchange views on "China-US relations and issues of mutual interest," the foreign ministry in Beijing said. Photo: Reuters


China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and US president Joe Biden will hold a virtual summit on Tuesday morning, the Chinese foreign ministry and the White House announced on Saturday.

“The president will meet virtually with president Xi Jinping,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and China, as well as ways to work together where our interests align,” she added.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also confirmed the meeting, saying Xi and Biden would “exchange views on China-US relations and issues of mutual interest”.

Leaders to Address APEC Meeting

The US and Chinese leaders are expected to address leaders of the Pacific Rim late on Friday amid heightened regional trade and geopolitical tensions.

China set the tone for the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this week, with Xi warning in a video recording on Thursday that the region must not return to the tensions of the Cold War era.

The comment was seen as a reference to efforts by the United States and its regional allies to blunt what they see as China’s growing coercive economic and military influence.

Biden is expected to address the gathering that begins midnight New Zealand time, the White House confirmed in a statement, adding he will discuss ongoing efforts to address the Covid-19 pandemic and support global economic recovery.

“The President’s participation demonstrates US commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and to multilateral cooperation,” the statement said.

Virtual Podium

The Chinese foreign ministry has also confirmed that Xi will speak at the meeting via video link.

Xi will take the virtual podium a day after China’s ruling Communist Party approved a rare resolution that amplified his status and authority, bolstering the likelihood of securing an unprecedented third leadership term next year.

APEC is the last multilateral meeting of the year and comes after a flurry of gatherings including the high-profile G20 summit in Rome and the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow.



Next APEC Summit in Thailand

APEC in 2021 was hosted entirely online due to host New Zealand’s hardline pandemic control measures and saw political and business leaders emphasize the need to fight Covid-19, decarbonise economies and grow sustainably.

During a session on Friday, outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated the importance of vaccinations in the fight against the pandemic. New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern then paid tribute to Merkel.

The APEC summit will be held in Thailand next year.

The United States has offered to host the 2023 round of APEC meetings for the first time in over a decade, although a consensus has not been reached on this proposal, officials have said.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau are also expected to speak at the meeting.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




Biden-Xi Virtual Meeting May Be Held Next Week



Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.


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