With US-China relations languishing at their lowest point in recent memory, Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will come together on Monday for a summit in the hope of clearly establishing boundaries that must be honored to avoid a potentially catastrophic conflict between the two world powers.
The leaders will converge in Indonesia for their first face-to-face encounter since Biden took office as president in January 2021. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated in the past 21 months as tensions escalate, in particular over Taiwan and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Washington has tried unsuccessfully to get Beijing to join with the West in a sanctions campaign against Russia, rather than remaining neutral on the Ukraine crisis, while China has sought to make clear its intolerance for actions that it sees as undermining its sovereignty over Taiwan. China broke off military and climate ties with the US in August, after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defied warnings from Xi’s government and made a controversial visit to Taipei, potentially emboldening separatists on the self-governing island.