Biden, Xi arrive in San Francisco on eve of APEC talks

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have arrived in San Francisco on the eve of an eagerly-awaited meeting between two leaders.

The US and Chinese presidents are to hold a lengthy meeting on Wednesday, their first face-to-face meeting in a year, coming at a time of increased friction between the two superpowers.

Biden will also welcome foreign leaders at a presidential summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, regional forum.

The forum brings together 21 countries, which together account for 60 percent of the world economy.

Biden said earlier on Tuesday that the United States was not seeking to distance itself from China, rather, in fact wanted an improved relationship.

"We're not trying to decouple from China. What we're trying to do is change the relationship for the better," Biden told reporters at the White House shortly before heading to San Francisco.

Asked what he hoped to achieve at the meeting, he said he wanted "to get back on a normal course of corresponding; being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another if there's a crisis; being able to make sure our (militaries) still have contact with one another."

Meeting venue

The two leaders will meet at Filoli Estate, a historical country house museum in the exclusive town of Woodside about 40 kilometres south of San Francisco, according to two senior administration officials.

The officials requested anonymity to discuss the venue that has not yet been confirmed by the White House and Chinese government.

Separately, a US official confirmed that Biden and Xi are expected to announce an agreement that would restore talks under what's known as the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement.

The agreement is used by the US and People's Liberation Army navies and air forces to improve safety in the air and sea.

Until 2020, they had been meeting regularly since 1998 for the talks. The official requested anonymity to preview the expected leaders' announcement.

The long complicated US-China relationship has come under heavy strain over the last year, with Beijing bristling over new US export controls on advanced technology; Biden ordering the shooting down of a Chinese balloon after it traversed the continental United States, among other issues.


Source: TRT