Joe Biden and Xi Jinping to hold a virtual meeting on Monday

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President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping are set to hold a virtual meeting on Monday. The meeting is poised to discuss concerns over China’s growing nuclear arsenal and their reported breaches of Taiwan’s air defense zone. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the meeting aims to resolve current tensions that continue to build between the world powers.

“The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China as well as ways to work together where our interests align,” she said.

The meeting comes in the wake of news that President Biden will also be signing a bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday. The 1 trillion dollar bill looks set to position the United States to out-compete China.

Xi Jinping addressed APEC leaders on Friday. He shared his desire to “Stick to dialogue rather than confrontation, inclusiveness rather than exclusion, and integration rather than decoupling.” The ever-increasing tension caused by the China-Taiwan divide will be a major talking point between the two leaders.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi hoped to address the conflict. He spoke of his hope that the US would quell rather than ignite international tensions. “If the United States really wants to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait, it should clearly and resolutely oppose any Taiwan pro-independence behavior,” he said.

The crucial meeting comes amidst the Pentagon’s growing fear over China’s fast-expanding nuclear forces. This Summer, China tested two hypersonic weapons, one of which took a complete journey around the earth.

According to the former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Russel, avoiding conflict will be paramount for the US president. “Biden knows that the tools for prevention and crisis management are rusty, so we should expect him to push to put in place safeguards or ‘guardrails’ to reduce risk,” Russel said.

Xi Jinping shared powerful words of warning this week when he addressed Asia-Pacific leaders. He advised them against joining with the US, saying that the region “Cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the cold war era.” Hopes are high that Monday’s meeting will clarify the direction that the USA’s relationship with China will follow in these coming weeks.

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