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Biden, Xi will meet next month, White House confirms

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday confirmed that President Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month, face-to-face in San Francisco.

She was questioned about a reported meeting on the sidelines of November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and confirmed it during a back-and-forth at the daily press briefing.

“Our policy and how we move forward with China hasn’t changed. This is intense competition… and intense competition means intense diplomacy, that’s what you’re going to see. That’s what the president is going to be doing and having a tough conversation but important conversation,” she said.

Fox Business reporter Edward Lawrence followed up, asking Jean-Pierre if the Chinese haven’t said yes on a face-to-face meeting.

“We’ve been talking about it. The president said he’s looking forward to meeting with President Xi and so, not going to get into details about this meeting that’s going to happen… next month. It’s going to be in San Francisco, it’s going to be a constructive meeting, the president’s looking forward to it,” Jean-Pierre said.

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When asked again if the meeting is happening, Jean-Pierre said “yes.”

Other reporters then pressed Jean-Pierre on if she just confirmed the meeting is happening.

“What I’m saying is that we’re aiming, we’re aiming to have a constructive conversation meeting between the leaders in San Francisco in November so, that’s what I’m saying,” she said. “I think I just confirmed it.”

U.S. and Chinese officials agreed to a meeting during the APEC summit but have not decided on the day of a meeting, the Associated Press reported. The summit will run Nov. 11-17.

Biden and Xi have not met since last November in Bali on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit. The president earlier this month said a meeting with Xi is a possibility but said it was not yet set up.

Biden expressed his disappointment that the Chinese leader didn’t attend the Group of 20 summit last month in New Delhi. However, Biden added at the time: “I am going to get to see him.”

The San Francisco meeting comes after diplomatic ties between the two nations have taken a hit since Biden and Xi last met. 

A Chinese spy balloon spent several days floating over the U.S. in February before it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. And, in June, Biden called Xi a dictator and said Xi got upset when the spy balloon was shot down because he didn’t know about it.

Source: The Hill

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