In their first in-person meetings in more than a year, President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping “agreed to open a presidential hotline, resume military-to-military communications and work to curb fentanyl production,” according to Reuters (subscription).
What’s going on: “Biden and Xi met for about four hours [on Wednesday] on the outskirts of San Francisco and covered pressure points that have contributed to strained U.S.–Chinese relations. Simmering differences remain, particularly over Taiwan. In a significant breakthrough, the two governments plan to resume military contacts that China severed after then-House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022.”
- Under the fentanyl agreement, “China will go directly after specific chemical companies that make fentanyl precursors,” a senior U.S. official told news outlets.
Commitment to work together: Biden told Xi the U.S. and China had to work together to ensure that the competition between the two nations “does not veer into conflict,” Reuters reports.
On AI: Biden and Xi also “affirmed the need to address the risks of advanced AI systems and improve AI safety through U.S.–China government talks,” according to the White House, though no further details were made available.
Other progress: The leaders committed to work toward increasing passenger flights between the U.S. and China and support the expansion of educational and business exchanges.
- They also discussed the importance of working together to accelerate climate progress.
Ongoing challenges: Biden “raised concerns [with Xi] regarding [People’s Republic of China] human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong,” according to the White House.
- “Biden also raised continued concerns about the PRC’s unfair trade policies, non-market economic practices and punitive actions against U.S. firms, which harm American workers and families … and emphasized that the U.S. will continue to take necessary action to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our own national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment.”