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Biden-Xi Meeting: What Both Sides want from US-China Talks

US President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping are set to hold a high-stakes meeting in California, and there is no shortage of potentially tricky topics to discuss.

Trade, war in the Middle East and Taiwan are among the issues likely to be on the agenda.

So what would success look like for each leader? We asked our correspondents to give their assessment.

What Xi wants

China’s leader is clearly all-powerful, but even he feels pressure, and – after a string of perceived setbacks – he needs a solid, public win.

There will be a lot of interest in what subjects the two men will discuss, especially given how many potentially sensitive flashpoints exist between Beijing and Washington. Freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, US support for the government in Taiwan and trade blocks on certain new technologies could all be on the agenda.

But for Xi Jinping, what is paramount is what happens at home. It is the images of him on Chinese media showing a strong figure dealing with the Americans that will be of crucial importance.

This year, two of his most high-profile appointees – the foreign minister and the defence minister – were removed without explanation. His judgement is seen as having been tarnished because he selected these men and yet they had to be taken down.

Then there was the purge of Rocket Force generals, leading to an overhaul of who is in charge of the country’s nuclear missiles. Rumours have been swirling around about why those at the top of this elite nuclear unit were replaced but, whatever the reason, this has further fuelled the impression that all is not well in the upper echelons of the Communist Party.

All of this came off the back of Mr Xi suddenly abandoning his hugely unpopular ‘Zero Covid’ policy at the end of last year, after protests started breaking out across the country calling for an end to the widespread restrictions on people’s movements. It led to an unknown death toll as the virus exploded.

Added to that, the once seemingly unstoppable machine of the Chinese economy is spluttering and stalling with record-high youth unemployment, tech sector layoffs and a housing crisis.

Some good news about China’s relations with the other world superpower would not go astray. Even better if it leads to more trade.

Source : BBC