Biden — who unlike Xi has to deal with the complications of democracy — is struggling to stabilize a presidency hammered by the aftermath of the pandemic and a perfect storm of rising inflation and gas prices that dented his approval ratings, though he has made strides in reinvigorating US alliances with an eye on China. Economic concerns weigh on both.
Given the vast gulf between the sides, and the political imperative for both leaders to stand firm against the other right now, it’s unlikely that tangible steps to ease tensions will emerge from the talks. But an understanding not to let tensions get even worse would be a start.
‘An opportunity for the two leaders to discuss how to responsibly manage competition’
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday rang up his Chinese counterpart
, Foreign Minister Wang Yi
, in preparation for their bosses
’ freighted summit
“The meeting presents an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss how to responsibly manage competition between the United States and the (People’s Republic of China) while working together in areas where interests align,” a readout of the call released by the US State Department readout said.