“The Leaders will discuss efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the PRC, responsibly manage competition, and work together where our interests align, especially on transnational challenges that affect the international community,” the White House said Thursday in the statement announcing the meeting.
US-China relations have dropped to their lowest level in decades, especially after the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan (China) in August.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the media on Thursday that China attaches importance to the US proposal to hold a meeting between the two heads of state in Bali. Currently, the two sides are maintaining communication in this regard, he said, Taiwan remains the core of China's core interests and the US needs to understand China’s position.
Xi Jinping has just been elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China for a third term. Joe Biden is forecast to face more difficulties in the next two years after the midterm elections in the event that the Republicans are able to gain control of one, or both, houses of Congress. It is understandable that both Washington and Beijing are looking for opportunities to reduce tensions and stabilize relations as China remains a strategic rival and the second largest economy in the world after the US.
Analysts said they do not expect the meeting to be highly-productive, but this is an opportunity for both leaders to come to a shared understanding on the preferences and intentions of the other.