China’s President Xi Jinping will meet with US President Joe Biden on Friday evening (Beijing time) for the first time since November 2021, the White House has announced.
An official statement from the White House said, “This is part of our ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC (the People’s Republic of China).”
The war with Russia and Ukraine will be on the agenda, with America hoping to put pressure on President Xi to help stop the war.
Biden will be hoping that China can join other countries in sanctioning Russia for their invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which has seen 726 civilians lose their life.
Since the invasion, China’s public response to the war has been neutral. The country has backed talks to put an end to the conflict.
On the other hand, as countries across the world cut trade ties with Russia in response to the invasion, China-Russia trade soared towards the end of February and the beginning of March.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games as Xi’s guest of honor in February. The two leaders announced that the friendship between the two countries has “no limits.”
China’s relationship with the United States has been fraught for years and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has not done anything to help.
On March 15, the Guardian reported that US officials fear China has already decided to help Russia with “economic and financial support during its war on Ukraine.”
In November Xi and Biden held a virtual summit in an attempt to ease tension between the countries.
During the talks both spoke of a strong personal relationship, with Xi referring to Biden as his “old friend.” He went on to add that the countries need to improve communication.
Biden stated that the two communicated “honestly and candidly.”
In November they discussed Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and trade between the two countries.
Friday’s meeting between Xi and Biden will be the fourth time the two have held talks since Biden’s inauguration in January 2021.
[Cover image via Twitter@The Hill]