U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to hold bilateral talks in San Francisco on Nov. 15, when Asia-Pacific leaders gather for an annual economic meeting, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
The first face-to-face talks in a year between the U.S. and Chinese presidents will take place as the world's two major powers explore ways to stabilize their intense rivalry, although geopolitical tensions between them show no signs of abating.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States and China are making final preparations for the sit-down between Biden and Xi on that day, which will take place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum leaders' meeting.
China has yet to confirm Xi's attendance at the upcoming APEC summit, but the White House said last week that the two countries have agreed "in principle" on a meeting between their leaders in San Francisco.
Xi has not set foot on U.S. soil since April 2017. The two presidents previously met one-on-one in November last year for about three hours in Bali, Indonesia, during a Group of 20 summit.
The White House has said Biden is slated to travel to San Francisco on Nov. 14, a day before the opening of the summit involving 21 Pacific Rim economies, also including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Peru, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Even as the United States and China double down on trade restrictions citing national security concerns and frequently exchange barbs over Taiwan, the South China Sea and many other issues, high-ranking officials of the two countries have increased direct contacts through various channels in the run-up to the APEC summit.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is scheduled to meet with China's top economic policy chief He Lifeng in San Francisco for two days from Thursday.
China's top diplomat Wang Yi visited Washington in late October and held talks separately with Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and top national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
While disagreements on major hot-button issues remain, Washington and Beijing have repeatedly said they want to "responsibly" manage the bilateral relationship and ensure their competition does not veer into conflict.
The Biden administration is eager to reopen military-to-military communication channels with China to reduce the risk of miscalculations. But it remains unclear if Biden and Xi will strike a deal on the resumption when they meet bilaterally next week.
The two countries have said they want to discuss potential areas for cooperation on global challenges, such as climate change.
Still, they have taken different positions on Russia's war against Ukraine and the conflict that erupted one month ago between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.