Sources tell WSJ that the Chinese leader may meet in person with his counterpart from America in Southeast Asia during November.
Officials in Beijing are making preparations for a face-to-face meeting between China’s leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in Southeast Asia in November, the Wall Street Journal reports citing sources familiar with the matter.
According to them, the meeting between the two leaders – their first in-person encounter since Biden’s inauguration in January 2021 – could take place on the sidelines of either the Group of 20 summit to be held on the Indonesian island of Bali on November 15 and 16, or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that will take place two days later in the Thai capital, Bangkok.
The preparations are at an early stage and Xi’s schedule could still change, WSJ’s sources emphasize. However, if China’s leader does proceed with the tour, which is to start right after this fall’s 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), it would be his first international trip in nearly three years.
People close to the Chinese President told WSJ that Xi had been avoiding major summits for more than two years due to his concern over Covid-19. Sources said that Xi is now keen to reestablish personal relationships with leaders from the region after such a long absence. Xi plans to travel to several countries on his visit to the top leaders of these countries.
The fact that preparations are already being made suggests that Xi feels confident about the next CPC Congress, where he is expected to claim a third term as the party’s chief, WSJ reports.
Biden has made several phone calls to Xi, although they haven’t yet met face-to-face. The latest meeting took place July 28, amid reports that Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, would be visiting Taiwan soon. “not to play with fire,”The island is considered a part China, and Beijing will not accept any infractions to its territorial integrity.
Pelosi visited Taipei this month earlier in the month. He became the 25th highest ranking US official to visit Taipei. China responded with military drills all over Taiwan. The Chinese state media claimed that the drills were actually a practice for an eventual confrontation. “reunification-by-force” scenario.
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