November 16, 2021
” … the two leaders covered areas where our interests align, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge.”The White House on the first meeting between President Biden and China’s President Xi.
- The virtual meeting started just before 8 p.m. EST and lasted roughly 3 hours.
- Recent weeks have set the stage for building tension between the two countries – from reports of China testing a nuclear hypersonic missile to sending fighter jets near Taiwan (a small island that considers itself independent from China, though China disagrees).
- Both leaders entered the meeting with some momentum. China’s president recently received a show of support from members of the Chinese Communist Party, and seems to have a clear path to continue his rule of the most populated nation in the world. Only hours before the meeting, Pres. Biden signed an infrastructure bill with bipartisan support – and mentioned China four times while signing the bill, including this statement: “… because of this law, next year will be the first year in 20 years American infrastructure investment will grow faster than China’s.”
- Why It Matters: China and the United States represent the two largest economies in the world and the two most prominent military powers. The White House emphasized competition rather than conflict. Time will tell what the impact of the meeting will be.
by Jenna Lee,