Biden and China’s Xi Will Hold Virtual Summit on Monday

The leaders of the world’s two largest economies confront tensions over trade, cyberthreats, the climate, Taiwan and human rights.


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WASHINGTON — President Biden will hold a virtual summit with President Xi Jinping of China on Monday as the leaders of the world’s two largest economies confront tensions over trade, cyberthreats, the climate, Taiwan and human rights.

The summit, which was announced by the White House on Friday, has been in the works since early October, when Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, held a six-hour meeting with Yang Jiechi, Beijing’s top diplomat.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in a statement that Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi would have a video call on Monday evening.

“The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the P.R.C., as well as ways to work together where our interests align,” Ms. Psaki said, using the abbreviation for the People’s Republic of China. “Throughout, President Biden will make clear U.S. intentions and priorities and be clear and candid about our concerns with the PRC.”

Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi spoke by phone on Sept. 9, but the two leaders have not met in person since Mr. Biden’s inauguration. The Chinese leader has not left his country for nearly two years, out of concern with the coronavirus pandemic.

China has been at the forefront of the Biden administration’s foreign policy.

Senior American officials said on Friday that Mr. Biden has focused efforts on ensuring that the United States could compete with China over the long run. They pointed to the passage this month of the bipartisan infrastructure bill as evidence that the administration was serious about not falling behind.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the diplomatic conversations, said the president would make clear that the United States was ready to engage in stiff competition, but did not want conflict with China and was eager to cooperate in areas where the interests of the two countries were aligned.

Those areas are likely to include discussions of efforts to limit nuclear proliferation and counter global warming.

But the meeting between Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi could also be a tense one, as the two leaders deal with more contentious issues, including China’s military buildup in the South China Sea, Chinese hacking of corporate and government computer systems in the United States, human rights violations by the Chinese government, and the ongoing conflict between China and Taiwan.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss the 2022 Winter Olympics, which are being held in Beijing. It is not clear whether Mr. Xi will invite the president to attend the Olympics, or if Mr. Biden would accept the invitation if it was offered.

American officials said they did not expect the meeting to produce announcements of specific agreements between the two countries.

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