Biden, Xi meet at APEC summit

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U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks on Nov. 15 on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, the White House reported.

The meeting marks the leaders' first conversation in over a year.

Biden and Xi participated in expanded bilateral talks on Nov. 15 that lasted about two hours, then departed for a smaller, closed-door working lunch.

Biden attended the smaller session with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, while Xi was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi and Chinese Communist Party Chief Cai Qi.

The two leaders issued remarks before the talks in a joint press conference.

"We have to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict. And we also have to manage it responsibly — that competition," Biden said.

Xi called the U.S.-China relationship "the most important bilateral relationship in the world."

"For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option," Xi said.

Ahead of the Nov. 15 talks, U.S. officials reported that Biden and Xi planned to discuss Russia's war in Ukraine.

China remains a crucial strategic ally to Russia and continues to provide economic support to Moscow, helping Russia fund its war despite the effects of Western sanctions. China also wields significant leverage over North Korea, which currently supplies weapons to Russia.

Biden said after the meeting that he and Xi "made real progress."

"I value the conversation I had today with President Xi because I think it's paramount that we understand each other clearly, leader to leader," Biden said on the social media platform X.

"There are critical global challenges that demand our joint leadership. And today, we made real progress."

Read also: Russia, China and North Korea have new dynamics. And it’s bad for Ukraine

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