The US and China have agreed to work together toward an expected summit between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping next month, US officials said on Friday, following hours of meetings between Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and senior US diplomats in Washington.
In the first visit by a Chinese foreign minister to Washington since 2018, veteran diplomat Wang Yi also met Biden for an hour, talks that the White House described as a “good opportunity” in keeping lines of communication open between the two geopolitical rivals with deep policy differences.
Wang’s meetings with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US national security advisor Jake Sullivan spanning over two days totaled nine hours, US officials said, describing these interactions as “candid and in-depth”.
Biden’s top aides raised Washington’s key concerns: the need to restore military-to-military channels between the two countries, Beijing’s actions in the East and South China Sea, Taiwan, human rights, the flow of fentanyl precursors and the cases of Americans detained in China, US officials said.
There were also “frank exchanges” between Blinken and Wang over the erupting conflict in the Middle East, Reuters reported.
The key area that appeared to show some positive momentum was toward an expected meeting between Biden and Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next month in San Francisco.
“We are making preparations for such a meeting,” a senior administration official, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, said. “Obviously, Chinese leaders often confirm publicly much closer to a trip, so I will leave it to the Chinese side to figure out if and when they make that announcement,” the official said.