President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping greeted each other with a warm handshake Wednesday as they met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
The two leaders last spoke a year ago, and since then, already fraught relations between the nations have further strained.
The outcome of Wednesday's talks could have far-reaching implications for an anxious world grappling with global economic crosscurrents from the pandemic, wars in the Middle East and Europe, upcoming elections in Taiwan and more. Follow live updates.
What to know
What is APEC anyway?
Biden's goal for the Xi meeting is to restore US-China communications to normal
San Francisco hopes to shed its image as a city in decline as it hosts APEC
A fragile global economy is at stake as Biden and Xi meet
Movie buffs may recognize the site of the Biden-Xi meeting
The leafy estate where Biden and Xi meet may look familiar to fans of 1980s TV or movie buffs who love Michael Douglas.
Biden and Xi spoke behind closed doors at the Filoli Historic House and Garden, which features a Georgian Revival-style mansion and a formal English Revival-style garden.
The sanctuary consists of 16 acres of formal gardens and is surrounded by a 654-acre estate. It is located in Woodside, California, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.
The property was built in 1917 as a private estate for the Bourn and Roth families, but has since become a National Trust for Historic Preservation. It's usually open to the public, but a message at the top of the estate's website currently reads: “Filoli is closed November 13-15 while we decorate the rooms for the holidays!”
David Fincher's 1997 mystery/thriller “The Game,” which starred Douglas, was partially filmed on the property. So was the multi-episode pilot for the ABC soap opera “Dynasty,” which ran from 1981 to 1989.
“Planet Earth is big enough for both countries to succeed”
“I am still of the opinion that big country competition is not the dominant trend of the current era and cannot solve the problems faced by China and the United States or the world in general. Planet Earth is big enough for both countries to succeed. And one country's success is an opportunity for another.” — Xi in remarks after shaking hands with Biden
Biden and Xi stress the need for mutual understanding
Biden and Xi stress the need for their nations to strengthen mutual understanding, while warning that their interests will sometimes collide.
The pair opened their face-to-face meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area with a firm handshake. Later, they sat at a long table together rather than separately.
Even small details like flower arrangements were important for a meeting where protocol is of the utmost importance. The flowers on the table seemed to be evergreen.
Biden said the purpose of the meeting was to “understand each other.” He said, “As always, there is no substitute for face-to-face conversations.” He added of Xi, “We've known each other for a long time. We didn't always agree.”
Biden also said he doesn't want “any misunderstanding or miscommunication” and that the two leaders must “make sure that competition doesn't turn into conflict.”
Xi spoke of the need to strengthen cooperation to fight climate change, but also condemned what he called growing “protectionism”.
Biden and Xi outline goals for meeting
Biden says the goal of the APEC summit is for leaders to “understand each other.” Xi says they bear “heavy responsibilities” for the world.
The two leaders made the comments on Wednesday after shaking hands in their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year.
The Biden-Xi meeting begins with a handshake
Biden and Xi opened their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year with a firm handshake ahead of talks with far-reaching implications for a world grappling with economic crosscurrents, wars in the Middle East and Europe, tensions in Taiwan and more. .
The two leaders, meeting at a bucolic estate outside San Francisco, seek to get communications back on track after a tumultuous year and show the world that while they are global economic competitors, they are not locked into a winner-take-all face-off. .
Since the two leaders last met, already close ties have been further strained by the US downing of a Chinese spy balloon, disputes over the self-ruled island of Taiwan, China's hacking of a Biden official's emails and other incidents.
Anti-Xi protesters march on APEC site
A large crowd that gathered in front of the Chinese consulate to condemn Xi began marching toward the Moscone Center, where APEC's main events are held.
They held signs reading “Free Hong Kong” and “Tibet Belongs to Tibetans” and chanted “Free Tibet” and “Down with the CCP”, referring to the Chinese Communist Party. They started matching around 11 a.m. Wednesday local time.
The speakers called on the Biden administration to stand up to Xi and his human rights abuses.
The White House expects major announcements from the Xi-Biden meeting
Ahead of the meeting between Biden and Xi, senior White House officials said Biden would leave the talks with major announcements on curbing the flow of chemicals used in the production of fentanyl and concrete steps to revitalize military and military communications.
A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview aspects of the meeting, said Wednesday's talks would be different from the last time Biden and Xi spoke a year ago in Bali.
The official said there were no concrete deals from Bali, contrary to what was expected on Wednesday.
— Associated Press writer Aamer Madhani