US President Joe Biden said Tuesday that China has “real problems,” speaking at a fundraiser in San Francisco on the eve of a meeting between himself and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in the US capital.
The world’s two largest economies will meet on the margins of the APEC summit in California for the first time in a year, as trade tensions, sanctions, and the Taiwan issue have fanned squabbles between Washington and Beijing.
Biden, who arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday alongside Xi, has described the meeting as an opportunity to mend ties that had frayed in recent years.
“President Xi is another example of how reestablishing American leadership in the world is taking hold. They’ve got real problems,” he told a fundraising event late Tuesday, hours ahead of his talks with the Chinese leader.
He did not elaborate.
Earlier, before leaving for San Francisco, the president told reporters at the White House that the US is “not attempting to decouple from China.” What we’re attempting to do is improve the relationship.”
When asked what he planned to accomplish during the meeting, he stated that he wished “to get back on a normal course of corresponding; being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another if there’s a crisis; being able to make sure our (militaries) still have contact with one another.”
However, Biden cautioned that the US was skeptical about investing in China due to Beijing’s commercial methods.
“I’m not going to continue to sustain the support for positions where if we want to invest in China, we have to turn over all our trade secrets,” he said.
The two presidents will meet for several hours on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The forum brings together 21 economies that contribute for roughly 60% of the global economy.
They are also anticipated to meet with important business executives and participate in a number of bilateral sessions.