In a landmark four-hour meeting at the picturesque Filoli estate near San Francisco, U.S. President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping engaged in discussions that spanned critical issues ranging from military conflicts to drug trafficking. This meeting preceded the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, adding significance to the deliberations.
Biden and Xi Jinping Summit Highlights
Location: Filoli Estate, 30 miles south of San Francisco
Taiwan: Navigating the Delicate Balance
In a “substantial” discussion on Taiwan, President Xi Jinping emphasized it as the most critical and precarious issue between the U.S. and China. While assuring no immediate military plans, Xi discussed the conditions under which force could be employed. President Biden stressed the importance of peace in the Taiwan Strait and urged respect for Taiwan’s electoral process.
Military Diplomacy: Resuming Talks
Both leaders agreed to resume military contacts, severed after Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in 2022. Biden explicitly requested the institutionalization of military dialogues. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will meet his Chinese counterpart, fostering a channel for consistent military communication.
Direct Leader-to-Leader Communication
Biden and Xi established a commitment to high-level direct communication. Both leaders can now directly pick up the phone and communicate, ensuring immediate attention to urgent matters and potentially preventing misunderstandings.
Cooperation and Conciliation: Setting the Example
Xi emphasized cooperation, dialogue, and mutual respect, with China and the U.S. setting an example for other nations. Areas of collaboration include trade, agriculture, climate change, and artificial intelligence. Beijing seeks recognition and respect, as mentioned in their official report, aligning with their broader diplomatic objectives.
Fentanyl: Joint Efforts Against Opioid Crisis
The leaders agreed to address the opioid crisis by cooperating on tackling the source of fentanyl. China committed to targeting specific chemical companies producing fentanyl precursors, addressing a significant cause of drug overdoses in the United States.
Iran: Navigating the Middle East Crisis
Biden urged China to engage with Iran, encouraging them to avoid provocative actions in the Middle East. Chinese officials conveyed ongoing discussions with Iran about regional risks, emphasizing a multilateral approach to the unfolding crisis.
Artificial Intelligence: Acknowledging Risks
In a forward-looking discussion, both leaders acknowledged the risks associated with the military and nuclear use of artificial intelligence. While not ready for a mutual declaration, both sides expressed a keen focus on practices related to AI that could be dangerous or destabilizing.