Biden and Xi to Hold Virtual Summit

The Presidents of the US and China will be having a virtual meeting.

The Presidents of the US and China will be having a virtual meeting.

President Joe Biden of the United States and President Xi Jinping of China have made a preliminary agreement to conduct a virtual summit with one another. This agreement was reached on the Presidents’ behalf by the US’ national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, who met in Switzerland to discuss recent tensions between their countries.

“We do have out of today’s conversation an agreement in principle to hold a virtual bilateral meeting between the leaders before the end of the year,” a Biden administration official said in a statement. “We think it’s particularly important for the leaders taking more of a role in managing this relationship and through, including through, ongoing discussion directly between the two of them.”

“There’s really no other approach at this time that has as great a chance of working as that, because of the way the Chinese system is structured, because of how powerful Xi Jinping is, because of how centralized decision-making is,” Evan Medeiros, who served as former President Barack Obama’s Asia-Pacific advisor, told CNBC.

“I think the Biden administration is right to say not that they want to cut out the middlemen, but they want to use that top-level engagement between Biden and Xi to sort of set the overall tone and direction of the relationship,” he added.

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