President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will ‘engage’ in coming weeks, says Jake Sullivan


President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will ‘engage’ in coming weeks, says Jake Sullivan as he teases possible talks while G7 summit and NATO focus on the growing threat from China

  • National Security Adviser said Biden and Xi will ‘will have the opportunity to engage over the course of the next few weeks’
  • Jake Sullivan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit
  • Talks in Germany have included how to counter the growing threat from China
  • And NATO is rewritings its ‘strategic concept’ to account for Beijing 

The White House national security adviser teased the idea of direct talks between President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping on Monday, saying they have will have the chance to ‘engage’ in the coming weeks.

Jake Sullivan made the comments to reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in southern Germany, where world leaders have been discussing how to counter the rise of China.

They have promoted hundreds of billions of dollars in spending to compete with Beijing’s global Belt and Road infrastructure push, and discussed how Chinese imports of Russian oil are funding the Russian war machine in Ukraine.

A NATO summit this week will also rewrite its ‘strategic concept’ to account for threats from China.

But Sullivan said the White House did not want confrontation with China and that Biden and Xi ‘will have the opportunity to engage over the course of the next few weeks.’

President Joe Biden

China's premier Xi Jinping

President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping ‘will have the opportunity to engage over the course of the next few weeks,’ according to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan

Biden is in Germany for a G7 summit, where discussion has included how to compete with China for influence among lower income countries and Beijing's economic impact on the war in Ukraine through its massive purchases of Russian oil

Biden is in Germany for a G7 summit, where discussion has included how to compete with China for influence among lower income countries and Beijing’s economic impact on the war in Ukraine through its massive purchases of Russian oil

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said there was increasing convergence at the G7 and NATO around the challenge China poses’ but that ‘competition does not mean confrontation’

He said that ‘there is increasing convergence at the G7 and NATO around the challenge China poses’ but that ‘competition does not mean confrontation.’

‘We’re not looking to divide the world into rival blocks and make every country choose,’ he said. 

‘We want to stand for a set of principles that are fair to everybody. And we want to ensure that we’re working with like-minded partners to hold China accountable to adhere to those rules.’

Biden and Xi last spoke in March, as tensions grew over Beijing’s ambivalence to the war in Ukraine.

In public it has steered clear of offering support or condemnation. 

Officials believe China has not heeded Russia’s requests for weapons, yet at the same time it has become a major buyer of Russian oil, undercutting boycotts elsewhere and allowing Moscow to continue reaping vast energy revenues. 

A senior administration official on Monday said there had been progress on a mechanism to choke off the oil profits.

The proposal involves imposing a price cap on Russian oil, although there is still some way to go before it could become operational. 

‘The goal here is to starve Russia, starve Putin as his main source of cash and forced down the price of Russian oil to help blunt the impact of Putin’s war at the pump,’ said the official.

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