President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday evening, as both countries show signs of progress in working together to tackle climate change despite ongoing divisions in other important issues such as Taiwan.
Leaders have spoken on the phone since Biden took office, but Monday's meeting will be the first time the two countries' official meeting has taken place.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that "the two leaders will discuss the mechanisms underpinning the competition between the United States and the PRC, as well as ways to work together where our interests are aligned."
"At all times, President Biden will articulate American intentions and priorities and be clear and straightforward about our concerns with the PRC," he added.
Tensions have been escalating between the US and China over Taiwan, Beijing's split in Hong Kong democratic protests, China's control of the Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, cybersecurity security, and the Covid epidemic of trade.
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Beijing has sent dozens of military planes near Taiwan in recent weeks, prompting the US to criticize China's actions as "disruptive." While the U.S. does not officially recognize the ruling island democracy, it maintains strong political and military ties with Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as its territory.
The ruling Communist Party has adopted a rare decision on Thursday that will open the way for Xi, 68, to gain a third consecutive term, and possibly to rule China permanently. Xi is regarded as the most powerful leader in China since Mao Zedong.
Psaki said the White House did not want "significant implications or consequences" at Monday's meeting, but would use the conference as an opportunity to continue their "in-depth negotiation" strategy with Beijing's competing partnership.
Relations between Beijing and Washington have strained under the auspices of the Biden administration after top US and Chinese politicians erupted in public in front of a press conference in Alaska in March. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has criticized Beijing for its increased authorization, while Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs minister Yang Jiechi has accused Washington of being a hypocrite of human rights.
China is scheduled to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Xi has not left China since the beginning of the Covid epidemic and did not attend the Group 20 conference in Rome or the UN climate summit in Scotland earlier this fall. Biden said it was "a big mistake" that Xi did not come in person.