The White House added that “this was not the purpose of this visit.”

The possibility of organizing a personal meeting between American and Chinese leaders Joe Biden and Xi Jinping was not discussed during the stay of US First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Beijing. As White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a regular briefing on Monday, this was not the purpose of this visit.

“The President [of the United States] still believes in face-to-face diplomacy <…> We expect that there will be some opportunities for interaction at some stage, but this topic was not touched upon in the context of these meetings [during Sherman’s trip]. This was not the purpose of the mentioned meetings,” she said.

“It was important for Deputy Secretary Sherman to go to Beijing and hold these meetings because it is important for us to tell the Chinese officials directly and privately what we say publicly. It is in our interests to clearly inform Beijing about our position, to explain in detail what we are concerned about. Our philosophy is that we should not avoid difficult topics,” Psaki said.

She added that there are areas in relations with Beijing in which the US “has concerns” about the actions of the PRC. Among them, according to Psaki, is the situation in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. However, according to the White House press secretary, there are also areas where the interests of the United States and China may coincide. Psaki referred to such areas as countering climate change, combating drug trafficking, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as “regional concerns, including the DPRK, Iran, Afghanistan, and Myanmar.”