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Wooing business leaders and avoiding conflict: What’s on Xi’s agenda as the Chinese leader heads to California

today 11/16/2023
Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived at San Francisco International Airport on November 14, 2023, for a highly anticipated summit with US President Joe Biden. During the summit, Xi will likely focus on boosting China's troubled economy and countering perceived US efforts to suppress it. This visit is significant as it is Xi's first trip to the US in six years and includes his attendance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation international forum. The two leaders have not spoken since their last meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2022. The meeting required navigating contentious issues such as a rogue Chinese surveillance balloon, Beijing's targeting of international businesses, and restrictions on high-tech trade. Expectations for major breakthroughs at the meeting are low, as Xi faces challenges in reviving the faltering Chinese economy and dealing with internal government issues. Biden, on the other hand, is already dealing with international challenges and would not want another global conflict involving China. Despite the challenges, Xi may see himself in a stronger position relative to Biden, as Beijing views the US as politically polarized and on the decline globally. One of Xi's main concerns is the US's push to reduce reliance on Chinese manufacturing and restrict China's access to advanced American technology. Beijing sees these actions as an attempt to suppress China's rise. Xi will also seek clarification on American policy toward Taiwan and pitch American businesspeople on the opportunities in China. Business confidence in China has declined due to pandemic controls and increased state control over the economy.
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