Biden Set to Tell Xi That China Needs to Play by Rules, Official Says

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President Joe Biden is set to tell Chinese leader Xi Jinping that Beijing needs to play by established international rules and norms, during a virtual meeting on Nov. 16.

“This is an opportunity for President Biden to tell President Xi directly that he expects him to play by the rules of the road, which is what other responsible nations do on everything from technology to trade to international institutions and international waterways,” a senior administration official said during a background call with reporters on Nov. 14.

According to the official, Biden is expected to raise concerns about China’s unfair economic trade practices, human rights violations, threats to the rules-based international order, and the regime’s “coercive and provocative behavior with respect to Taiwan,” among other things.

“He will continue to make clear to President Xi his concerns about China’s human rights abuses,” the official said.

In terms of bilateral trade, the official said, “I do not expect tariffs to be something that will be on the agenda.”

As China and the United States engage in “stiff competition,” the official said, there was a need for “high-level engagement” to make sure that “the competition does not lead to conflict.”

Biden is expected to tell Xi “about the importance of bounding the competition with common sense guardrails, keeping communication lines open, and ensuring our conversations are substantive and not symbolic,” according to the official.

“This meeting is about our ongoing efforts to responsibly manage the competition, not about agreeing to a specific deliverable or outcome,” the official added.

The bilateral meeting comes less than a week after Xi further cemented his authority within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), after the regime’s powerful Central Committee on Nov. 11 adopted a historical resolution, the third of its kind in the Party’s century-long history.

The resolution—which puts Xi on a pedestal similar to his two powerful predecessors Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping—effectively allows Xi a mandate to secure another five-year term next year, extending his rule until at least 2027. Xi became the regime’s paramount leader in 2012.

By Frank Fang

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