Xi Jinping: ‘not an option’ for US and China to turn backs on each other – live | US foreign policy

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Xi: ‘Planet Earth is big enough’ for both US and China to succeed

“The China-US relationship, which is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, should be perceived and envisioned in a broad context of the accelerating global transformations,” Xi Jinping told Joe Biden.

“China-US relationship has never been smooth sailing over the past 50 years or more and it always faces problems of one kind or another. Yet it has kept moving forward amid twists and turns.

“For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option …

“Planet earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed and one country’s success is an opportunity for the other,” Xi added.

Key events

During the meeting at the Filoli estate, 30 miles south of San Francisco, Xi Jinping called the partnership between the US and China “the most important bilateral relationship in the world”, and said that he and Joe Biden “shoulder heavy responsibilities for the two peoples, for the world and for history”. Xi added:

For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option,. It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other, and conflict and confrontation has unbearable consequences for both sides.

Singer Gwen Stefani is slated to be the headline performer at Joe Biden’s Apec reception this evening, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In January, the pop singer fell into hot water when she said in an Allure interview: “My God, I’m Japanese and I didn’t know it.” (Stefani is not Japanese.)

Paul Osaki, the executive director of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, told the Chronicle:

I hope her appearance at Apec is not related to her Harujuku Girls era or feelings about being Japanese. If they want representation of the Japanese culture at the reception, there are several Japanese cultural performing arts groups that are more authentic, not stereotypical and of actual Japanese ancestry.

Read the rest of the Chronicle’s coverage here.

The lead-up to Xi Jinping’s first visit to the US since 2017 has been filled with meticulous planning including cleanups of San Francisco homeless encampments and pre-determined camera angles to capture the meeting of the two heads of state and specific seating arrangements, NBC News reports.

‘There is no detail too small,’ Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, told the outlet.

Any meeting between two heads of state involves a degree of pomp and circumstance, but President Joe Biden’s long-awaited sit-down with Xi on Wednesday is the product of a painstaking process to accommodate China’s many requests. The behind-the-scenes effort is a sign of Beijing’s anxiety over the optics that could result from Xi’s first visit to the US in six years.

Overall, China is looking for Xi’s trip to California to be seen as a ‘grand visit,’ officials said.

Read more about the visit preparation here.

ABC’s senior White House correspondent Selina Wang reports that following Joe Biden and Xi Jinping’s opening remarks, she asked Xi in Mandarin: “Do you trust Biden?”

He took out his translation earpiece to hear my question, looked at me, but didn’t respond,” Wang tweeted.

In the room during Biden-Xi meeting.
After their opening remarks, I asked Xi Jinping in mandarin: “do you trust Biden?”
He took out his translation earpiece to hear my question, looked at me, but didn’t respond pic.twitter.com/nYVqkfxUuV

— Selina Wang (@selinawangtv) November 15, 2023

Here is some color from the New York Times on the lush Filoli estate where Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are meeting (the location was largely kept a secret until a day before the bilateral):

The Filoli estate, a grand house and garden on 654 acres of rolling green grounds along the California coast, has been a supporting character in the 1980s television drama “Dynasty” and the 2001 romantic comedy “The Wedding Planner.” It has been the venue for top-dollar nuptials of Facebook executives, and the public can tour the gardens.

Just not on Wednesday.

Top aides to President Biden have worked with Chinese officials for weeks to ensure that this manicured setting would be the perfect backdrop to host a diplomatic summit between Mr. Biden and President Xi Jinping of China — two men who share a deep skepticism of each other, but also a mutual belief that their countries must avoid allowing their diplomatic and military interactions to deteriorate from fierce competition into outright conflict…

The site was appealing for a few reasons. It is set among the hills, one of the more isolated spots in a densely populated corner of California. The White House kept the location of the meeting secret until a day before, presumably to keep protesters from surrounding the venue. None were visible at the gates on Wednesday morning as Mr. Biden’s motorcade approached the locale, but some could be seen along the route from San Francisco.

Filoli is a giant estate amid some of the most expensive real estate in the country, built in the early 20th century by a family that made its fortune in the California gold boom and wanted a retreat not far from San Francisco. William Bowers Bourn II, the original owner of the home, decided on the name “Filoli” by mixing together the first few letters of his personal motto: “Fight for a just cause. Love your Fellow Man. Live a Good Life.”

Joe Biden meets with Xi Jinping in Woodside, California, on 15 November.
Joe Biden meets with Xi Jinping in Woodside, California, on 15 November. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Here are images coming through the newswires of Joe Biden greeting Xi Jinping in San Francisco in their first face-to-face meeting in a year:

U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023.
U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping enter before a meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' week in Woodside, California on November 15, 2023.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping enter before a meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ week in Woodside, California on November 15, 2023. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
President Joe Biden Meets with China's President President Xi Jinping at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, Calif., Wednesday, Nov, 15, 2023, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative conference.
President Joe Biden Meets with China’s President President Xi Jinping at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, Calif., Wednesday, Nov, 15, 2023, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative conference. Photograph: Doug Mills/AP
U.S. President Joe Biden attends a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023.
U.S. President Joe Biden attends a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping sit down for first face-to-face meeting in a year

Joe Biden has welcomed Xi Jinping to San Francisco where the two leaders are meeting face-to-face for the first time in a year.

As Xi stepped out of his bulletproof Hongqi sedan, Biden greeted the smiling Chinese president with a handshake and said: “Welcome.”

The two then proceeded to pose briefly for photos before heading into their meeting hall where they were greeted by US officials including the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, the treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, the US’s special climate envoy, John Kerry, and the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan.

Addressing Xi, Biden said:

Mr President, we’ve known each other for a long time. We haven’t always agreed which [does] not surprise anyone but our meetings have always been candid, straightforward and useful … I value our conversation because I think it’s paramount that you and I understand each other clearly, leader to leader with no misconceptions or miscommunication …

We have to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict. And we also have to manage it responsibly … That’s what the United States wants and what we intend to do … I also believe it’s what the world wants for both of us …

We also have the responsibility to our people and the world to work together when we see it in our interest to do so. Critical global challenges we face from climate change to counter narcotics to artificial intelligence demand our joint efforts.”

Addressing Biden, Xi said:

The China-US relationship, which is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, should be perceived and envisioned in a broad context of the accelerating global transformations … It should develop in a way that benefits our two peoples and fulfils our responsibility for human progress.

The China-US relationship has never been smooth sailing over the past 50 years or more and it always faces problems of one kind or another. Yet it has kept moving forward amid twists and turns. For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option …

Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed … As long as [China and the US] respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation, they will be fully capable of rising above differences and find the right way for the two major countries to get along with each other.”

Xi: ‘Planet Earth is big enough’ for both US and China to succeed

“The China-US relationship, which is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, should be perceived and envisioned in a broad context of the accelerating global transformations,” Xi Jinping told Joe Biden.

“China-US relationship has never been smooth sailing over the past 50 years or more and it always faces problems of one kind or another. Yet it has kept moving forward amid twists and turns.

“For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option …

“Planet earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed and one country’s success is an opportunity for the other,” Xi added.

Biden highlights ‘candid, straightforward and useful’ US-China meetings

“There’s no substitute to face-to-face discussions,” Joe 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,” Biden 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,” he continued.

He went on to mention “critical global challenges” including climate change. narcotics and artificial intelligence that the US seeks to address with China.

Here is video of the moment Joe Biden greeted Xi Jinping in their first face-to-face meeting in a year:

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping have made their way into the meeting hall.

They were greeted by officials including the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, the treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, the US special climate envoy, John Kerry, as well as the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan.

Joe Biden greets Xi Jinping as he arrives for bilateral meeting

Xi Jinping has arrived ahead of his bilateral meeting with Joe Biden.

He stepped out of his car and shook hands briefly with Biden before posing for photos.

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are expected to meet shortly.

Stay tuned as we bring you a live feed of their official greeting.

The San Francisco mayor, London Breed, shared her support for Joe Biden’s initiative to commit more federal funding to curtailing drug trafficking and supporting treatment, in light of the agreement between Biden and Xi aimed at the importation of fentanyl into the US.

From London Breed’s X account:

While cities continue to fight fentanyl with both law enforcement & public health responses, we need more support.

I’m joining @MayorofSeattle and 35 other mayors in support of President @JoeBiden’s call for more federal funding for both trafficking enforcement and treatment. pic.twitter.com/F5mwIooy4K

— London Breed (@LondonBreed) November 15, 2023

Protesters block delegates from getting into summit location, reports say

Delegates from multiple countries were blocked by protesters from entering Wednesday’s summit, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, citing protesters.

Delegates from Thailand, China, and the Philippines were reportedly prevented from accessing the APEC conference, with protesters preventing attendees by forming a blockade.

Protesters also blocked a motorcade of 10 vehicles, with police officers in riot gear standing by.

An organizer with the #No2Apec coalition says protesters were able to block the Thai, Chinese and Filipino delegations from accessing the CEO summit.

— Aldo Toledo (@aldot29) November 15, 2023

Protesters tried to block people from entering the Apec summit in downtown San Francisco on Wednesday morning, with demonstrators heckling participants and blocking traffic near the gathering.

The protest was organized by the No to Apec Coalition, which is made up of more than a hundred grassroot groups and says it “opposes Apec as a forum for corporations and institutions to push so-called ‘free trade’ to exploit their workers and put the benefits of corporations over the rights of nations and peoples.”

Demonstrators numbered in the hundreds, CBS Bay Area reported.

“Biden, Biden telling lies, you don’t care if the planet dies, some demonstrators chanted, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The San Francisco city blocks where the summit is being held have seen multiple protests ahead of the meeting.

On Tuesday, thousands gathered in the same area to demand a ceasefire in Gaza, denounce Israel’s invasion, and deplore the rising death toll.

And on Sunday, thousands of demonstrators protesting various causes, including corporate profits, environmental abuses, poor working conditions and the Israel-Hamas war, joined forces in a march.

Ahead of the meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping today in San Francisco, the European Council on Foreign Relations has released the following results from a new global opinion poll conducted in 21 countries:

  • There is widespread pessimism among citizens of the west. 47% of respondents in the United States are pessimistic about the future of their country.

  • In contrast, in emerging and rising powers (including China) optimism prevails. Sixty-nine per cent of Chinese respondents are optimistic about their country, and this feeling was also evidenced among 86% of those surveyed in India, 74% in Indonesia and 54% in Russia.

  • Chinese strength, globally, is most evidenced on economic matters. When asked if they feel closer to the US or China on trade, majorities in Russia (74%), Saudi Arabia (60%), South Africa (60%), Indonesia (53%) and Turkey (50%) selected China. Majorities in Saudi Arabia (64%), South Africa (58%), Brazil (52%), and Turkey (52%) also expressed acceptance for five types of Chinese economic presence in their countries, including ownership of sports teams, newspapers, tech companies and infrastructure.

  • US leadership on the global stage is still important. If forced to choose, respondents almost everywhere in ECFR’s survey stated that they would prefer to be part of an American bloc rather than cooperating with China and its partners. This was the majority view in South Korea (82%), India (80%), Brazil (66%), South Africa (54%), Turkey (51%) and Saudi Arabia (50%).

Texas’s Republican representative Troy Nehls has made a comment about the Chinese flags lining the streets of San Francisco ahead of Joe Biden and Xi Jinping’s meeting today, saying:

“Chinese flags line the streets of Beijing to welcome President Xi Jinping.

Just kidding. This is San Francisco.”

The GOP has tweeted the following ahead of Joe Biden’s meeting with Xi Jinping later today, citing the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic in February:

“Just this year, China was caught floating a spy balloon across the continental United States. Now Biden is welcoming Xi Jinping, President of China, to California with open arms.”

Just this year, China was caught floating a spy balloon across the continental United States.

Now Biden is welcoming Xi Jinping, President of China, to California with open arms.

— GOP (@GOP) November 15, 2023

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