Biden will look to draw red lines during his one-on-one with Xi

US President Joe Biden said on Sunday he would seek to draw “red lines” in strained US-Beijing relations during his high-stakes meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

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Mr Biden said he approached Monday’s meeting, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia, “strengthened” after the Democratic Party’s unexpected success in the midterm elections.

The two men have no shortage of subjects to debate, Washington and Beijing being at loggerheads on issues ranging from trade to human rights in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, passing by the status of Taiwan.

“I know Xi Jinping, he knows me,” he added, saying they always had “frank discussions.”

The pair have a relationship that dates back more than a decade to when Joe Biden was vice president, but on Monday they will meet face-to-face for the first time in their current roles.

“We have very few misunderstandings. We just have to determine what the red lines are, ”said the American president.

According to the Maison Banche, he will urge Beijing to use its influence to control North Korea, which has just carried out a record series of missile launches, seeming to be preparing to conduct the 7th nuclear test in its history.

Mr Biden’s party has retained control of the US Senate thanks to the re-election of Nevada Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Masto, US media announced on Saturday.

“I know I’m coming in strengthened,” he said of how that success impacted his talks with Xi.

The American president meets in the afternoon Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, whom the crisis with Pyongyang has brought closer, despite historic differences between their countries.

Trilateral with Japan and South Korea

China is Pyongyang’s main ally and US officials say that while Mr Biden will not make demands, he will warn Mr Xi that continuing the missile and nuclear program would mean the US will increase its presence military in the region, which Beijing fiercely opposes.

“North Korea poses a threat not only to the United States, not only to (South Korea) and Japan, but also to peace and stability throughout the region,” the White House insisted.

Pyongyang justified its action in reaction to the largest aerial maneuvers ever carried out by the United States and South Korea.

The tests included an intercontinental ballistic missile and another shorter-range projectile that de facto crossed the maritime border and dived near southern territorial waters for the first time since 1953.

Poutine conspicuously absent

Mr Biden traveled to Phnom Penh after the COP27 climate conference as part of US efforts to build influence in Southeast Asia to counter China.

In recent years, China has flexed its muscles through trade, diplomacy and military might, in a region it considers its strategic backyard.

Mr. Biden lashed out at Beijing in a veiled way during his talks with leaders of the regional bloc of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He said the United States would work with ASEAN to “defend against significant threats to the rules-based order and the rule of law.”

Although the president did not name China by name, Washington has long been critical of Beijing’s efforts to undermine international norms in areas as varied as intellectual property and human rights.

Joe Biden and Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, were separated at the gala dinner table on Saturday by the host of the ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

MM. Biden and Xi approach the G20 buoyed by recent successes at home: the Democrats’ election results for the first, and obtaining a historic third term at the helm of the country for the second.

The head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov will also be present. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to return to the table in the busy streak coming up, between G20 in Bali and the Asia-Pacific Forum in Bangkok, where he will continue to represent President Vladimir Putin.


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