US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping plan to hold a “virtual” summit before the end of this year, a senior US official in the White House revealed on Wednesday.
The US official said, in a statement to reporters, on condition of anonymity, that there is a “principal agreement” to hold a “virtual bilateral meeting” between the two leaders.
“The (US) president has expressed his desire to see Xi Jinping, something that hasn’t happened in years,” the White House official added. And we expect that they will be able to hold the meeting, even if it is virtual,” according to AFP.
The official referred to press reports that the Chinese president will not attend the upcoming summit of leaders of the Group of Twenty countries in Rome, which would have constituted an opportunity for a meeting between Biden and Jinping.
Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Jake Salvian met in Zurich with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, for six hours of talks, the senior US official said.
Agence France-Presse quoted the Chinese news agency “Xinhua” that Yang Jiechi called during the meeting for cooperation between the two countries.
“When China and the United States cooperate, the countries and the whole world will benefit, and when China and the United States are in confrontation, the two countries will suffer greatly, and so will the world,” the agency quoted him as saying.
He added that Beijing “attaches importance to the positive statements recently made by US President Joe Biden on China-US relations,” according to AFP.
Sullivan’s visit comes as part of continued communication between Beijing and Washington, as Biden calls for the establishment of “protective barriers” for the growing competition between the two powers.
Tensions between the two countries intensified due to China’s behavior towards Taiwan, the United States’ decision to sell nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, trade disputes and human rights violations, especially those affecting the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
On Monday, US Trade Representative Catherine Tay announced that she would soon hold talks with her Chinese counterpart.
Biden, who has known the Chinese president for years, has had two phone calls with him since taking office, and the second call, which took place last month, lasted about 90 minutes.