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Biden and Xi ‘ready for confrontation in NOVEMBER’: US and Chinese presidents will have first face-to-face meeting in three years after Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan and heightened tensions over military exercises
- Chinese officials are reportedly preparing for a November meeting in Asia
- Joe Biden spoke to Xi Jinping by phone at the end of July
- US officials said they ended the conversation by agreeing to meet in person
- Relations have soured since then with Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan
- Beijing responded by launching war games around the autonomous island
The first meeting between President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping could take place in November on the sidelines of an international summit in Asia, according to those familiar with planning.
Details emerged on Thursday at a time of intense tension between the two countries, following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week.
Beijing responded with bellicose rhetoric and firefights with military exercises around the autonomous island.
Now, Chinese officials are reportedly making plans for Xi to visit Southeast Asia in what would be his first international trip in three years, where he would have his first face-to-face meeting with Biden since the US president took office.
Officials involved in the preparations told the Wall Street Journal that the 69-year-old Chinese leader will attend his party congress in the fall — where he is expected to break the precedent and claim a third term as prime minister.
Chinese officials are reportedly working on plans for a face-to-face meeting between Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden on the sidelines of summits in Southeast Asia in November
A billboard in Taipei welcomed Speaker Pelosi to the island as Taiwanese expressed their support
Pelosi’s visit sparked Chinese wargames around the autonomous island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory
He will then attend a summit of the Group of 20 Nations on the Indonesian island of Bali from November 15-16.
And from there he travels two days later to the Thai capital Bangkok for a summit on economic cooperation in Asia and the Pacific.
As part of the planning, officials are preparing to meet with Biden on the sidelines of one of the summits — although those plans could change, they said.
US officials said they could not comment on the preparations being made by Chinese officials.
But a White House official echoed what was said after the two leaders spoke by phone late last month that officials were working on a face-to-face meeting.
China’s foreign ministry told the Wall Street Journal: “China supports Indonesia and Thailand to host the two conferences, and is ready to work with all parties to promote the conference to achieve positive results.”
Xi has not left China since January 2020, when he made a state visit to Burma. Days later, Chinese health authorities declared a public health emergency when COVID occurred.
President Joe Biden said he was “concerned” but “not concerned” about China’s military exercises around Taiwan when he left his beach house in Delaware Monday morning.
During that time, China has ramped up its claims to Taiwan and in recent weeks fears have grown that it is about to launch an invasion.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan last week after days of speculation about whether she would make the trip and possibly intensify tensions with Beijing, which considers Taiwan to be Chinese territory that will eventually be reunited with the mainland.
It made her the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in decades.
In response, Beijing deployed fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles around Taiwan in what analysts say was a practice for a blockade or invasion of the island.
This week, Biden said he was “concerned” but “not concerned” about China’s military exercises.
And Biden has avoided criticizing Pelosi.
“That was her decision,” he said when asked by reporters about the trip as he left his beachfront home in Delaware Monday morning for a day trip to Kentucky.
Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell accused China of overreacting and using it as a pretext to try to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait
“China has overreacted and its actions remain provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented,” he told reporters, describing it as an “intensified pressure campaign” against Taiwan.