Did Biden and Xi just hit a reset? Not quite, but they did agree on a few things

President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met for face-to-face talks in San Francisco, marking their first in-person meeting in a year, and came away with a few key agreements, albeit with contentious issues remaining.

Meeting Highlights: Biden and Xi met for four hours, agreeing to cooperate and keep communication channels open.
* Biden announced that he and Xi agreed they should be able to call each other whenever necessary.
* Xi praised the meeting’s achievements, saying there is “plenty of room for our corporations” and that they could help each other succeed and achieve “win-win outcomes.”

Rhetoric and Agreements: Biden insisted he maintained a tough tone with Xi, but the talks yielded some agreements aiming to stabilize the rocky relationship.
* Biden reiterated his description of Xi as a “dictator.”
* An agreement was reached to resume high-level military-to-military dialogue, which had been suspended after a visit to Taiwan by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
* Another significant agreement pertains to fentanyl. China will crack down on companies selling precursors and pill presses for the synthetic opioid which kills tens of thousands of Americans annually.

Key Issue – Taiwan: Taiwan featured prominently in the meeting, as Xi underscored to Biden that it was the “most potentially dangerous” issue in their relationship.
* Yet, according to a senior U.S. official, Xi told Biden that China’s preference is for a peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan.
* Xi denied reports that China was planning for military action against Taiwan in 2027, or 2035.

Future relations: As the current meeting signals an intention to maintain dialogue, the trajectory of U.S.-China relations remains uncertain.
* U.S. election season has begun with China becoming an increasingly divisive foreign policy issue, with a recent survey showing nearly 60% of Americans considering China’s development as a world power to be a critical threat.
* In China, economic growth has been slower than expected, with relations between the two nations far from stable.

Panda Diplomacy: On a lighter note, Xi addressed Americans’ concerns regarding the return of Chinese pandas housed in the U.S. to their home country.
* Xi offered to continue cooperation on panda conservation and make efforts to “meet the wishes of the Californians” in order to strengthen ties between the two nations.
View original article on NPR
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