Biden, Xi to Meet in San Francisco

    Biden, Xi to Meet in San Francisco
    Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Nov. 15, 2021)

    The Facts

    • The highly anticipated face-to-face meeting between US Pres. Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have been confirmed for next Wednesday in the San Francisco Bay Area, with both sides reportedly setting modest expectations for the summit.

    • The two leaders will reportedly discuss a range of matters — including core disagreements over trade and competition, the Israel-Hamas war, and the conflict in Ukraine. The issue of the self-ruling island of Taiwan, over which Beijing claims sovereignty, is likely to be at the top of the agenda.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Though these talks aren't likely to produce any major breakthrough in the US-China relationship, the meeting is itself a positive development after months of tensions amid heavy global turmoil. As the Biden administration has listed Sino-American stability among its top foreign policy priorities so as to prevent another world crisis, this is certainly a first and necessary step to achieve this vital geopolitical goal.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This long-awaited meeting comes as the US — still reluctant to back off — has realized that its military pressure on Beijing will never break the PRC's resolve to protect its territorial sovereignty and national security, but rather risks creating the conditions for a potential crisis to turn into a military conflict. Hopefully, the US has come to its senses and will finally stabilize relations with China as part of a realization that the world order is now strongly multipolar and no longer dominated by American hegemony.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 17% chance that there will be a US-China war before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


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    Establishment split

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