Biden touts ‘constructive and productive’ meeting with Xi

President Joe Biden on Wednesday hailed what he said was a “constructive and productive” meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and said he would “trust, but verify” his interactions with his superpower counterpart.

Biden and Xi met in Woodside, Calif., on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. Biden said ahead of the meeting that Washington and Beijing must ensure that competition does not lead to conflict between the two superpowers.

Read: Biden aims to avoid conflict while competing with China, he tells Xi

Biden stressed that the summit was aimed at getting communications between the U.S. and China back on track after a tumultuous year, and he talked up efforts at jointly combating problems such as climate change.

“There are critical global challenges that demand our joint leadership. And today, we made real progress,” Biden said in a post on X after the meeting concluded.

Biden told reporters that the two sides agreed to resume military-to-military talks; that the Chinese government will crack down on fentanyl production; and that there are plans to discuss “what’s dangerous and what’s acceptable” in the field of artificial intelligence.

But the summit was not expected to be free of tensions, as U.S. officials have, for example, aired concerns about a ramping up of Chinese military activity around Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.

Also see: How the Biden-Xi meeting in San Francisco could help prevent a world war

A senior White House official said Xi told Biden that there are no plans for military action against Taiwan in the coming years.

But the Chinese leader did not drop Beijing’s long-held tone about the island.

“China will realize reunification, and this is unstoppable,” Xi said, according to Xinhua.

Biden said he told Xi he expects there will be no Chinese interference in Taiwan’s upcoming elections, and reiterated the U.S.’s “One China” policy. Under that policy, the U.S. recognizes Beijing as the government of China, and does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

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