Biden hosts China’s top diplomat ahead of expected Xi meeting

With ties between Washington and Beijing strained, Mr.

Amid smooth talk of cooperation between the US and China, official Wang Yi visited Washington. During the three-day visit, diplomat Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken and Mr. He also met twice with Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan. In total, the meetings lasted about 10 hours, US officials said.

Even as the Biden administration scrambles to manage a new crisis in the Middle East, Mr. Wang’s journey was reminiscent.

Those ties have recently been defined by tensions over issues such as Chinese espionage and US restrictions on technology exports to China. They were severely tested in February when a Chinese spy balloon flew over the US before a US fighter jet shot it down off the coast of North Carolina.

But Biden administration officials say cooperation with China on issues such as climate change and artificial intelligence is vital, and that dialogue could reduce the risk of conflict over China’s territorial claims on the democratic island of Taiwan.

To that end, a parade of top US officials has traveled to China in recent months. In which Mr. Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Mr. Sullivan said in recent months that Mr. He has met Wang twice.

A briefing released by the White House on Friday emphasized the cooperative themes. Mr. It said Biden told Mr. Wang.

Not all the talk was about cooperation: A senior U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy, said Mr. Blinken Mr. South China and East China Seas and Americans detained in China.

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Mr. Sullivan’s summary of the three-hour meeting said the two officials had “candid, constructive and substantive discussions” on issues such as the Israel-Hamas conflict, Ukraine and Taiwan.

On the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in San Francisco in mid-November, Mr. Mr. Biden The meetings come two weeks before Xi is expected to meet. The two last met on the sidelines of a 20-member summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November last year.

Ryan Haas, former National Security Council Director of China Affairs in the Obama White House, said Mr. Mr. Wang’s visit next month. Mr. Biden said that it would help shape the agenda for the expected meeting between Xi and

“Restoring diplomatic engagement will reduce the risk of miscalculations, create space to manage pressures on the relationship, and ensure that Xi is forced to confront America’s articulation of its goals and priorities while forming his views on America’s intentions toward the relationship,” Mr. Haas said.

Xi and Mr. Although U.S. officials say they are preparing for a meeting between Mr. Biden and Mr. Beijing has not confirmed that Xi will attend — perhaps to avoid embarrassment and another blowout in U.S.-China relations to cancel. said Yun Sun, a senior fellow at the Stimson Center.

Chinese officials were furious that Mr. Blingen scrapped a planned visit to Beijing at the last minute after the spy balloon sparked national outrage. (Mr. Biden said the balloon “flew out” and that Mr. Xi did not know its flight path. Mr. Blinken eventually made the trip in June.)

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Despite the unrest, Mr. Ms. Sun said Xi was looking forward to the meeting and hoped to prove to his people that he is a supreme world leader, even if Beijing’s expectations for resolving conflicts such as increasing U.S. sanctions are low. Exporting semiconductor chips to China to help maintain America’s edge in artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies.

Biden officials, for their part, hope for a stable relationship leading up to the 2024 elections. They are eager for Beijing’s help in curbing exports of chemicals used to make fentanyl to Mexico and in curbing Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Mr. Wang did not take questions from reporters during his visit. Mr. In brief remarks before his meeting with Blinken, he said the goal of his talks in Washington was to “strengthen Sino-US relations.”

He seemed to suggest that the relationship had been strained by outspoken China hawks, adding that “every now and then there are some roaring voices”.

When that happens, ​​​​​​”China takes it easy, because we consider what is right and what is wrong, and who is not determined by a strong hand or a loud voice.”

Mr. Wang was appointed director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China in January. His post was expanded to include foreign minister in July, a post he held for a few months before being fired without explanation after his predecessor, Qin Gang, mysteriously disappeared.

Despite the flurry of high-level diplomacy, Ms. Sun said relations between the United States and China remain rich. “The question is how long it will last. This is not called ‘improvement’ in relations,” he said. “The word you hear is affirmation — you don’t hear ‘progress’ from anyone.”

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That view was echoed by the Nationalist Communist Party newspaper The Global Times. Article Regarding Mr. Wang’s visit, he said that while “current contacts are seen as a positive signal for Sino-US relations”, US policy towards China is focused on “containment and containment”.

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