BY TYLER DURDEN
WEDNESDAY, NOV 15, 2023 – 03:30 PM
Update(1530ET): Biden’s opening remarks before going into the closed door session with Xi were to be expected:
Biden also emphasized that the leaders had to ensure that competition should not veer into conflict, which echoed remarks administration officials have delivered in the past over the countries’ relations.
“I value our conversation because I think it’s paramount that you and I understand each other clearly, leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication,” Biden said.
But Xi’s introductory words were more interesting:
The Chinese president said his country’s relationship with the U.S. has “never been smooth sailing” over the last 50 years “yet it has kept moving forward” with twists and turns.
“It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other, and conflict and confrontation has terrible consequences for both sides,” he said. “The world at large is big enough for the two countries to succeed.”
Meanwhile, “China is objecting to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation members incorporating sustainability and inclusivity into their trade and investment policies,” Reuters reports.
A post summit live press conference is expected to happen late in the afternoon local time. The conversation is expected to take hours.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with US President Joe Biden starting at 10:45am Wednesday Pacific time. The US side is giving a state visit-level reception for Xi.
The previously secret venue for the one-on-one meeting between presidents, on the sidelines of the summit of Asian-Pacific leaders, has as of Wednesday morning been disclosed as Filoli, a sprawling private estate located in Woodside, California – which lies about 25 miles south of San Francisco, seen below.
The lush, quiet and secluded estate will be scene of an expected some 4 hours of talks between Xi and the 80-year old Biden.
As we’ve previewed, topics are likely to range from Biden’s efforts to restore military-to-military communications, Taiwan tensions, managing economic competition, Ukraine, Gaza, and also reportedly Fentanyl at the forefront – to be pressed by the US side.
So far, it’s the optics which have proven most controversial, from the moment senior officials – including Janet Yellen – were gathered at the airport to greet Xi’s huge Air China jet on Tuesday. Biden had this to say going into Wednesday’s crucial meeting, via APF:
China under Xi has ‘real problems’, Biden says on eve of summit.
Amazingly, here’s a partial list and summary of the “no detail too small” preparations for Emperor President Xi’s arrival:
A presidential meeting at an undisclosed location. Students lining the streets waving Chinese flags. A $2,000-per-plate dinner with the most powerful business executives in America.
Every aspect of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to California this week has been highly choreographed, down to what he sees outside the window during a motorcade ride and what camera angle he’s recorded from, according to people familiar with the planning.
“There is no detail too small,” said Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific.
Any meeting between two heads of state involves a degree of pomp and circumstance, but President Joe Biden’s long-awaited sit-down with Xi on Wednesday is the product of a painstaking process to accommodate China’s many requests. The behind-the-scenes effort is a sign of Beijing’s anxiety over the optics that could result from Xi’s first visit to the U.S. in six years.
Overall, China is looking for Xi’s trip to California to be seen as a “grand visit,” officials said.
Xi’s motorcade flew past unusually pristine streets lined with students and supporters waiving Chinese flags, though there are reports of some sporadic protests popping up too:
The rapid and almost miraculous clean-up of San Francisco streets comes after a series of demands made by Beijing:
They insisted that the meeting be held before a broader gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders in San Francisco this week and at a location entirely separate from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit site, two current and former U.S. officials said. China’s request was designed to elevate Xi’s stature above that of the other world leaders traveling to California this week, the officials said.
And entire roads and intersections have been closed off for Xi’s extensive security perimeter:
Given the planned Biden-Xi meeting is scheduled to run for four hours, it remains to be seen whether the US president will be able to stay alert, awake and coherent for such a lengthy high stakes session.
Vietnamese American Conservative Alliance (VACA)
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