President Biden is holding a rare solo press conference in California on Wednesday night after a day of meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The world leaders of the two largest economies and their top aidesat the Filoli Historic House & Garden in Woodside, California, just outside of San Francisco. Resuming military-to-military communications and cracking down on fentanyl were key objectives for Mr. Biden heading into the talks.
The leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in San Francisco, where officials and heads of state from other leading economies will also meet this week. Mr. Biden frequently describes the United States’ relationship with China as one of competition.
“We have to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict,” Mr. Biden said at the start of his talks with Xi. “And we also have to manage it responsibly — that competition. That’s what the United States wants and what we intend to do. We also — I also believe that’s what the world wants from both of us: candid exchange. We also have a responsibility to our people and the work — and the world to work together when we see it in our interest to do so.”
The Biden administration believes they made progress on two key objectives — resuming military-to-military communications and cracking down on fentanyl. A senior administration official told reporters Wednesday after the talks that the U.S. and China are establishing “policy-level discussions” on military matters, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will now meet with his counterpart when China names a new minister of defense. Senior military commanders, including the commander of the U.S. Pacific forces in Hawaii, will engage with his Chinese counterparts, the official said.
The senior administration official also said the U.S. is working with the Chinese on a plan to have China use a number of procedures to go after specific companies that make precursors for fentanyl. The official said the Chinese have already acted against several of the companies for which the U.S. has provided information. China is taking a number of steps intended to curtail the supplies, the official said.
Mr. Biden and Xi also had what the senior administration official described as a substantial exchange about Taiwan. Xi, the U.S. official said, expressed that China’s preferences is for peaceful reunification, but moved immediately to suggest that force could potentially be used. Mr. Biden emphasized the need to maintain peace and stability, and asked the Chinese to respect the electoral process in Taiwan. Xi, the official said, suggested peace is well and good but at some point, there needs to be a move toward a resolution.
Mr. Biden is sure to get questions from reporters on a variety of topics aside from China, especially on thewaging in the Middle East.
How to watch President Biden’s press conference
- What: President Biden holds solo press conference after meeting with Chinese president
- Date: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023
- Time: After 7:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Filoli Historic House & Garden, Woodside, California
- Online stream: Live on CBS News in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device.