Xi arrives in San Francisco with China-U.S. summit in global spotlight

Editor︰Xu Ke

Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in San Francisco, U.S., to hold a summit with U.S. President Biden at the invitation of the latter and to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

Whether the "Xi-Biden Summit" can warm bilateral relations is a global focus.

Xi-Biden Summit|Yellen greet at the airport

Xi Jinping (first from right) flew to San Francisco on a special plane. Governor Newsom of California (second from right), U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen (first from left), and others were there to greet him. (Web image)

Xi Jinping's special plane arrived in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. local time on November 14, 2023 (6:30 a.m. Hong Kong time on the 15th), and those who attended the reception included U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen, Governor Newsom of California, U.S. Ambassador to China Burns, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Xie Feng, and Financial Secretary Chen Mao, who represented Hong Kong at the APEC meeting.

Xi Jinping then left the airport by car to go to the hotel where he was staying. Along the way, Chinese people welcomed him with waving national flags.

According to reports, Xi Jinping and Biden will meet at 10:45 a.m. local time on the 15th (2:45 a.m. Hong Kong time on the 16th), with the whole process taking about 4 hours.

Also at 4:15 p.m. (8:15 a.m. Hong Kong time Thursday) they will meet the media.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry had previously stated that the "Xi-Biden Summit" will have in-depth communication on issues concerning the strategic, overall, and directional issues of China-U.S. relations, as well as important issues concerning world peace and development.

Xi-Biden Summit|Walk with Biden at Filoli Estate

Some media believe that holding the meeting at the Filoli Estate not only distinguishes the summit from the APEC meeting but also allows the two heads of state to have intimate conversations in a relaxed environment. (Web image)

Analysts point out that the discussions between the two heads of state will definitely include the Taiwan issue which is most valued by China, and export controls on China, as well as the military communication mechanism and market access issues of interest to the United States.

In addition, the situation in Palestine and Russian-Ukraine War will also be mentioned.

Both sides of China and the U.S. have not officially announced the location of the "Xi-Biden Summit", but Voice of America claims that the two heads of state will meet at the Filoli Estate, and that the two will also have a working lunch together, take a walk in the estate, and hold a small-scale meeting with only a few high-level officials in attendance.

The Filoli Estate is located in Woodside, California, about a 30-minute drive from San Francisco. The estate was built between 1915 and 1917, featuring a Georgian-style mansion, an English Renaissance-style garden, a 2.8 hectare orchard, and a 1.6 kilometer long path.

It should be noted that the Filoli Estate is completely separate from the venue of the APEC summit, which might be designed to highlight the importance of the summit between the two heads of state.

Xi-Biden Summit|Speech at APEC Summit

Xi Jinping and Biden met in Bali, Indonesia in November 2022. This was the first meeting between the two since Biden assumed the presidency of the United States. (Web image)

China-U.S. relations have continued to deteriorate in recent years because of the United States' comprehensive suppression of China and its constant "small moves" on the Taiwan issue.

Some thought that the situation could improve after the "Xi-Biden Summit" in Indonesia's Bali in November 2022, but the subsequent "roaming balloon" incident led the U.S. to make a big deal out of it, and bilateral relations returned to a freezing point.

Given the complex international situation, Xi Jinping accepted the invitation to hold a summit with Biden in San Francisco one year later. Whether bilateral relations can stabilise or even warm up as a result will be a global focus.

In contrast, the APEC summit held here, although attended by Xi Jinping, Biden and other leaders of many countries, obviously receives less attention than the "Xi-Biden Summit".

It is reported that Xi will deliver a speech at the APEC summit and meet with some of the attending leaders. He will also attend a dinner and meet with high-level figures in the U.S. business community.

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