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Biden expecting 'straightforward discussions' with China's Xi

President Biden on Sunday indicated he expects “straightforward discussions” during his upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two leaders’ first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office.

Biden is scheduled to meet with Xi on Monday in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, with the discussion expected to include a number of thorny issues, like the status of Taiwan, human rights concerns and Ukraine.

“I think I’ve always had straightforward discussions with him,” Biden told reporters while in Cambodia for the East Asia Summit. “There’s never any miscalculation about what each of us — where each of us stand, and I think that’s critically important in our relationship.”

Xi has held multiple calls with Biden since the start of his presidency, and Biden reiterated he’s hoping to use the meeting to lay out “red lines.”

“I know Xi Jinping,” Biden said. “I’ve spent more time with him than any other world leader. I know him well. He knows me. There’s no — we have very little misunderstanding. We just got to figure out where the red lines are and what are the most important things to each of us going into the next two years.”

Last month, Xi during the country’s Communist Party Congress secured a historic third term as president, cementing his hold on power with a new five-year term as his inner circle now largely comprises close allies.

“His circumstance has changed, to state the obvious, at home,” Biden said of Xi.

The highly choreographed party meeting came as tensions rise over the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims.

Xi has stressed a desire to reunite the island with China’s mainland and has stepped up military exercises designed to intimidate the island, fueling international concern that China might attempt to take Taiwan by force if necessary.

Under the “One China” policy, the U.S. acknowledges Beijing’s claims and recognizes a singular Chinese government while also maintaining unofficial ties with the island.

But U.S.-China tensions inflamed after Biden said he would send U.S. troops to defend the island if it was invaded, although the White House has looked to clarify those comments to reiterate the long-standing U.S. policy remains in place.

The island’s status and Biden’s view of the issue are expected to come up at Monday’s meeting between the two leaders.

“I’m going to have that conversation with him,” Biden said at a Wednesday press conference.

The conversation is also expected to include China’s relationship with Russia amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and threats from North Korea.

Source: The Hill

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