President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold their first virtual summit on Monday evening, U.S. time, to discuss cooperation and competition, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday.
The much-anticipated first summit -- happening 300 days into the Biden administration -- comes as tensions mount over Taiwan, while the two sides seek cooperation on topics such as climate change.
Jacob Stokes, a fellow with the Center for a New American Security's Indo-Pacific Security program, said the summit will be "an opportunity for Biden to circumvent Xi's cloistered inner circle of advisors and speak directly to the Chinese leader. There is much to discuss, which is why their earlier engagements, held via phone, in February and September lasted for two hours and 90 minutes, respectively."
Stokes said that following the broad agreement on climate, Biden and Xi might also align privately on a path forward for restraining Iran's nuclear program. But he said the two sides seem too far apart for such a coordinated approach to North Korea.
"Strategic competition remains the defining attribute of U.S.-China relations ... so expectations for breakthroughs or bargains should remain very low," he said.
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