US President Joe Biden greeted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a summit between the two leaders gets underway at Filoli Estate, a country house museum about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of San Francisco.
All manner of topics are set to be discussed but the thorny issue of Taiwan will loom large over the diplomatic meeting.
Since they last met, already fraught ties have been further strained by the US downing of a Chinese spy balloon that had traversed the continental US and by differences on Taiwan, China’s hacking of a Biden official’s emails and other incidents.
Biden arrived first and awaited Xi, who got out of a black car and took Biden’s hand before the two leaders walked a red carpet through the estate’s grand entrance with a China flag on one side and a US flag on the other. Five Marines stood in formation.
“There’s no substitute to face-to-face discussions,” Biden told Xi Jinping.
“Mr. President, we have known each other for a long time. We haven’t always agreed…but our meetings have always been candid, straightforward and useful,” he said.
“We have to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict. And we also have to manage it responsibly…and work together when we see it in our interest to do so,” Biden continued.
He went on to mention “critical global challenges” including climate change, narcotics and artificial intelligence that the US seeks to address with China.
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