Biden takes questions from reporters after first meeting with China's Xi as president

Biden takes questions from reporters after first meeting with China’s Xi as president

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Washington — President Biden will deliver remarks and take questions from reporters following his first in-person meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, which marked the first time the two world leaders met face-to-face since Mr. Biden assumed office.

The bilateral meeting between the presidents of the world’s two largest economies began just before 5 a.m. E.T. with a handshake and, from Mr. Biden, a pledge to “keep the lines of communication open” not only with Xi, but between the two governments. 

“As leaders of our two nations, we share a responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent global issues that require our mutual cooperation,” he said at the start of the meeting.

While the president and his Chinese counterpart have met and spoken many times over their careers, their in-person meeting in Bali is the first since Mr. Biden took office in January 2021. During his presidency so far, however, the two have spoken by phone or video call five times. The two last met face-to-face in 2017 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and Xi last met with a U.S. leader, former President Donald Trump, in 2019.

In Bali, Mr. Biden and Xi spanned roughly three hours, and the two were expected to discuss Beijing’s tensions with Taiwan, which the president has said the U.S. would defend in the event of an invasion from China, Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, and global economic security.

Mr. Biden’s in-person talks with Xi come on the heels of the midterm elections, which saw better-than-expected results for the Democratic Party. Democrats are projected to maintain their control of the Senate and could pick up a seat if Sen. Raphael Walker defeats Republican challenger Herschel Walker in Georgia’s runoff election next month. In the House, while Republicans are in a position to win a majority of seats, their control is likely to be by a narrow margin.

Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to Mr. Biden, told “Face the Nation” in an interview Sunday that control of the Senate is “hugely consequential” for the president’s agenda. 

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