Next week, President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping of China will convene in the San Francisco Bay area for their second in-person meeting since Biden took office. The meeting, scheduled for November 15, will cover various topics such as the Israel-Hamas conflict, the situation in Taiwan, the conflict in Ukraine, and election interference. This gathering occurs at a time when relations between the two countries are deteriorating, with incidents like the spy balloon incident, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, disagreements over technology exports, and territorial disputes in the South China and East China Seas. The primary objective of the summit is to manage and stabilize the relationship between the United States and China, rather than achieving major breakthroughs. Key points of discussion will likely include the restoration of military communications, addressing US restrictions on technology exports to China, and tensions in the South China and East China Seas.
President Biden is expected to express concerns about Beijing’s military activities surrounding Taiwan, while President Xi may seek assurances that the US does not support Taiwanese independence. Additionally, the summit carries an urgent request for China to exercise restraint and use its influence to prevent further escalation in the Middle East due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Although modest achievements are anticipated, neither side expects significant breakthroughs that would completely reset the overall relationship. The broader context involves the Biden administration’s efforts to deal with what it perceives as China’s aggressive behavior, despite attempts to ease tensions after the spy balloon incident. This summit is a result of diplomatic engagement, with the US placing emphasis on the importance of re-establishing military dialogue, particularly after the spy balloon incident highlighted challenges in high-level communication with Beijing..