Xi, Biden call will have Taiwan front and center

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual meeting as early as next week to discuss topics ranging from bilateral trade relations to rising tremors around Taiwan. It’s not clear to most observers, however, if the call will serve to aggravate or alleviate tensions.

Significantly, the meeting will be held after the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which ends this Thursday and is expected to agree to give General Secretary Xi a third five-year term as president.

Preparations for the plenary prevented Xi from attending the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, or COP26 summit, in Glasgow, United Kingdom this month. On November 2, Biden criticized China as well as Russia for their lack of participation in the summit.

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