Biden meets with Chinese FM Wang, sets up expectation for meeting with Xi

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken meets with Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi on June 19 in Beijing. Wang held a two-day meeting with Blinken this week in Washington, D.C. File Photo by Department of State/UPI

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A new meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping appears to have moved closer after Biden met face-to-face with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday.

Wang's visit comes after high-ranking U.S. officials traveled to China earlier this year, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. During his trip this week, Wang met with Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

U.S. and Chinese officials have been working on setting up a meeting between Biden and Xi at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco next month.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday confirmed Biden's planned attendance at the summit.

"President Biden will highlight the strength and resilience of the U.S. economy, our longstanding economic ties with the Asia-Pacific, the surge of job-creating investments from APEC economies into the United States in recent years, and the role of the U.S. economy in driving growth and innovation in the Asia-Pacific and globally," she said in a statement.

"He will also reaffirm our commitment to partnering with APEC economies to chart the next chapter of sustainable, inclusive regional growth, further strengthen the ties between our economies and our populations and support American families and workers."

In Biden's meeting with Wang, the White House said the president emphasized the "need to manage competition in the relationship responsibly and maintain open lines of communication."

"He underscored that the United States and China must work together to address global challenges," the administration said.

In China's readout of Wang's meeting with Sullivan, the foreign minister said the two had "substantive and constructive strategic communication" on several issues, including the "Palestine-Israel conflict, and other international and regional issues of mutual interest and concern," including Taiwan.

Blinken met with Wang for seven hours over two days as the two hashed out international issues and staking out their positions.

"The secretary emphasized that the United States will continue to use diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and values," a readout from Blinken's office said. " He noted that we both have a responsibility to manage our differences and to work together on issues that matter to our people and the world.

"The two sides discussed the importance of the United States and China taking concrete steps to disrupt the global flow of synthetic drugs and their precursor chemicals into the United States that fuels the fentanyl crisis."