At the summit of Monday’s virtual summit, President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to exchange pleasantries. 

Xi referred Xi to Biden as an old friend’, while Biden stated that they have’spent a lot of time talking’ to one another. 

Biden said, “Maybe I should begin more formally even though you have never been so formal with me,” 

Biden stated to the Chinese leader that he is looking forward for a candid and open discussion which will allow for’simple and straightforward competition’ between the United States and China. 

Biden stated that ‘we need to create some common-sense safeguardrails’, and added, “especially when it comes to vital global issues such as climate change.” 

President Joe Biden (left) and Chinese President Xi (right) Jinping exchanged pleasantries for the cameras at the top of their virtual summit Monday night

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left), and President Joe Biden, (right), exchanged friendlyries with the cameras during Monday night’s summit virtual.

President Joe Biden waves to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the top of their virtual meeting Monday night

At the height of Monday’s virtual meeting, President Joe Biden waved to Chinese President Xi Jinping 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) listens as President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meet virtually Monday night

Antony Blinken, Secretary of State (left), listens to President Joe Biden (right), and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet virtually Monday night 

The U.S. President added, “We have a duty to the world and to our people,”   

‘That’s why we believe – and you and I have talked about this – all countries have to play by the same rules of the road, why the United States is always going to stand up for our interests and values, and those of our allies and partners,’ Biden said. ‘“If past is prologue, I am sure that today we’ll be discussing those areas where we have concerns – on human rights, on economics, to ensuring a free and open Indo Pacific.’

Biden said that Xi and he have ‘always communicated honestly with each other very candidly. 

Biden declared, “We do not walk away wondering what other men are thinking,” 

Biden thanked Xi before he handed the program to him, saying that it was a’very gracious’ gesture. 

Xi, through a translator told Biden that he was’very pleased to see my old buddy’. 

Xi declared that “Humanity is a global village and must face many challenges together.” The Chinese president suggested that both China and America need to enhance communication and collaboration. 

Both men met Monday night in Washington, but it is already Tuesday morning here in Beijing. 

Meetings are expected to last several hours.   

Cabinet members including Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second from right) and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (right) joined President Joe Biden's (left) virtual meeting Monday night with Chinese President Xi Jinping (second from left)

Members of the Cabinet, including Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, joined President Joe Biden (left) in a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd from left). 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued in advance of the Biden-Xi virtual meeting that the president was coming into the meeting from a 'position of strength,' pointing to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill

Jen Psaki (White House Press Secretary) argued before the Biden Xi virtual meeting, that the president came into the meeting in a position of strength. She referred to the $1.2 billion infrastructure bill. 

Jen Psaki’s press secretary said that Biden had entered the summit Monday night with Xi from a ‘position of strength’ because of the bipartisan bill for infrastructure worth $1.2 trillion.    

He signed the infrastructure bill today. This infrastructure bill is crucial and essential for many reasons. But one reason is that for the first 20 years, we will invest more in infrastructure in China. That is going to strengthen competition at home and put millions of people into work.  

According to the press secretary, Biden is expected to enter the negotiations in good standing since he has spent 10 months strengthening relationships with U.S. allies. 

“The president and his national security team think that the president comes into this meeting with a sense of power,” she stated. “If you take a look back at our situation nine months ago, it is clear that we are far from where we need to be now. If you take a look at our strategy for China many months ago, it is clear that we discussed the need to rebuild our alliances, strengthen our relationships and coordinate with Europeans. 

Psaki spoke of both the G20 summit in Rome, and the COP26 global climate conference. 

Biden’s troubles also include dragged poll numbers, and the aftermath of his disaster pull-out in Afghanistan. 

Monday’s virtual summit between China and Taiwan aims to diffuse tensions about Taiwan and other issues. 

However, neither side has shown any willingness to compromise.   

Psaki stated that the President will likely express his views on areas in which China needs to take additional actions. He also said that China must be more consistent with expectations and rules with the United States. 

Biden was inaugurated in January. The leaders spoke by telephone twice. However, Xi has refused to travel overseas because of the pandemic. An online meeting with Xi is all that’s left.

In the lead-up, most attention has been on Taiwan. China is claiming Taiwan as its own self-ruling democracy. Biden’s advisers view the summit to be an opportunity to prevent tensions increasing.

Reporters were told by a senior official from the administration that ‘we know that as responsible global leaders it’s essential to keep communication channels open’. They also added that conflict should not arise between the countries.

“The President will make it clear, too that we are looking to create common safeguards in order to prevent miscalculations or misunderstandings.”

However, the White House attempted to temper expectations with an official statement that said the summit was not “a meeting where deliverables will be coming out”.

Biden is a long-time veteran in foreign policy matters during his years of politics. He has stated often that phone calls are not a substitute for face to face meetings.

Xi hasn’t left China in nearly two years. Biden harshly critiqued his attendance at recent COP 26 climate summits in Glasgow and Rome.

Donald Trump’s presidency saw the collapse of relations between superpowers. Trump launched a trade war against China, while attacking Beijing’s handling of pandemic.

Biden has redefined the conflict as an ongoing struggle between democracy, autocracy. 

While Trump is more reserved in his day, the tone has changed over time. Relations with Taiwan have worsened.

China’s military activity near Taiwan has increased in recent years. In October, a record-breaking number of warplanes entered the island’s air defense area.

Although the United States states supports Taiwan’s right to self-defense, it is not clear if it will intervene directly. China is increasing its rhetoric and warning Washington not to get involved.

In a weekend meeting, Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister stated that any support or connivance for “Taiwan independence forces” would undermine peace in Taiwan Strait. He also said this to Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday urged Biden to enhance relations.

Zhao Lijian (foreign ministry spokesperson) stated that the U.S. should work with China in the same direction to achieve mutual understanding.

Chinese state media, Monday, also described Taiwan as the central flashpoint in US-China tensions.

In an editorial, the Global Times, a tabloid that is hawkish, stated that the United States should ‘take back’ from Taiwan.

A US official indicated however that Biden would not be shy about addressing China’s “coercive, provocative” behavior towards Taiwan.

Officials also stressed the possibility of cooperation between them in different areas like climate change.

This virtual meeting was held as Xi’s grip on power continues to grow.

Last week, top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party passed a resolution which is likely to assist Xi in consolidating his power. It sets forth his vision for China and reduces the influence of his predecessors.

Washington officials stated that the resolution had ‘further cemented’ power over the Chinese president.

“In our minds that just further underlines the importance of this leader-level engagement.”