The roughly 35-minute meeting with Xi in the Great Hall of the People was seen as a critical sign to the trip’s success, though it wasn’t confirmed ahead of time. After Xi met with Microsoft founder Bill Gates earlier this month, a failure to organize a Xi-Blinken meeting might have constituted a deliberate snub by Chinese authorities.
“If Xi had refused to meet with Blinken, it would have signaled that the Chinese leader was abandoning the diplomatic exchange process he agreed to with Biden last fall,” said Jacob Stokes, a senior fellow for Indo-Pacific issues at the Center for a New American Security. “So, the fact that it happened probably means more than the outcomes.”
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