US President Joe Biden said Friday he expects to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this year, despite taking a series of shots at the rival power.
Biden held his first meeting as president with Xi in November 2022 in Bali where they agreed to work to manage high tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
Biden, answering a shouted question after meeting the leaders of Japan and South Korea, said, “I expect and hope to follow up on our conversation in Bali this fall, that’s my expectation.”
Biden is inviting Xi in November to San Francisco when the United States holds a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, which includes China.
The two leaders could potentially also meet next month in New Delhi on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies.
Biden’s confidence at a meeting with Xi, whom he saw at length when they were both vice presidents, comes despite a series of statements and actions that have irritated China.
Biden, promoting the health of the US economy as he enters election season, earlier this month said that China was a “ticking time bomb” due to economic problems.
In June, Biden called Xi a “dictator,” comments denounced by China which came on the heels of a visit to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the top-ranking US official to go to China in nearly five years.
Biden has also restricted US investment in sensitive high-tech areas in China, after earlier barring exports of advanced microchips.
China has denounced the moves as violations of free-trade principles. The Biden administration has responded that it is safeguarding US security.
China has also denounced the three-way summit between Biden and the leaders of South Korea and Japan, a major step in reconciliation between the two US allies that have been at loggerheads for decades over disputes linked to wartime history. (AFP)