A high-ranking representative of the U.S. administration said that the essence of the meeting was not to agree on specific results, but to manage competition responsibly.
Washington believes that the meeting scheduled for Monday by video link between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be mainly aimed at ensuring that competition between the countries is carried out responsibly and does not lead to conflict. This was announced at a special briefing by a high-ranking representative of the U.S. administration.
“You have heard many times that the United States and China are in fierce competition. And we believe that intense competition requires intensive diplomatic interaction. That’s why [U.S. President Joe] Biden will meet on Monday, November 15, in the evening, Washington time, in virtual mode with the President [of China] Xi [Jinping],” she said. “We believe that this meeting at the leadership level is important for competition to be carried out in a responsible manner,” the administration employee added. “The essence of this meeting is not to agree on specific results or outcomes, but to manage competition in a responsible way,” she said.
“This interaction is important because it allows us to establish the rules of competition on two key points. The first is to ensure that competition does not lead to conflict,” the administration representative explained. As she recalled, Biden had previously stressed that “the only thing worse than a deliberate conflict is an unintended conflict.”
“Secondly, we also believe that this meeting <…> is aimed at ensuring compliance with the rules of the game,” the briefing explained. – This is an opportunity for President Biden to directly tell President Xi [Jinping] that he expects him to comply with the rules of the game, as other responsible states do. On all issues – from technology to trade, to international institutions, international waterways – we have concerns about the actions of the PRC.”
As follows from the schedule of the American leader, the meeting will begin at 19:45 East Coast time. At the special briefing, it was clarified that Biden and Xi Jinping “will speak through interpreters.” “I expect that it [the meeting] will take place within a few hours, but I can’t give a clear time,” said an employee of the U.S. administration. She did not explain whether any other officials would take part in the leaders’ conversation.
Install protective barriers
As emphasized at the briefing, Washington proceeds from the fact that “it is important to keep communication channels open.” “That’s why President Biden took the initiative to hold this meeting. We want to clarify our intentions and priorities to avoid misunderstandings. The president will also make it clear that we want to establish common-sense protective barriers to avoid miscalculation or misunderstanding,” the administration spokeswoman said. According to her, this is necessary to avoid “miscalculation or misunderstanding.”
Answering the question about what exactly the American side means by the establishment of “protective barriers,” the employee said that Biden does not “plan to submit a list or something like that.” “But I think it will be a conversation about specific areas,” she added.
At the briefing, it was also stressed that “from the first day of his administration, President Biden has been making efforts to ensure that in the long term the U.S. could bypass China in the competition, and in the last 10 months Washington has acted so that the U.S. is in the most advantageous position.” “We have taken important steps to strengthen our ability to compete, mainly by investing in our country,” an administration spokeswoman said.
An employee of the administration in this regard recalled that earlier US lawmakers approved a plan for large investments in the country’s infrastructure. “We are also working more closely with allies and partners to overcome the challenge we face in the face of China,” the administration employee stated.