When Joe Biden and Xi Jinping first bought to know one another greater than 10 years in the past, the US and China had been transferring nearer for 3 many years regardless of their variations.
“The trajectory of the connection is nothing however optimistic, and it’s overwhelmingly within the mutual curiosity of each our international locations,” Biden stated in 2011 when, as vp, he visited Beijing to construct a private relationship with China’s then leader-in-waiting.
Seated subsequent to Xi in a Beijing lodge, Biden advised a room of Chinese language and American enterprise leaders about his “nice optimism concerning the subsequent 30 years” for bilateral relations and praised Xi for being “easy.”
“Solely associates and equals can serve one another by being easy and sincere with them,” he stated.
Throughout that getting-to-know-you journey to China in 2011, the 2 leaders shared a marathon of conferences and meals in Beijing and the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu. Additionally they took a visit deep into the inexperienced mountains of Sichuan province to go to a rural highschool rebuilt after a lethal earthquake.
The subsequent yr, Xi paid a reciprocal go to to the US on the invitation of Biden, who hosted his Chinese language counterpart for dinner at his residency after a sequence of conferences on the White Home, State Division and the Pentagon. Biden additionally flew to Los Angeles to fulfill Xi on the final leg of his journey.
Continued rapport: Their in-person encounters continued after Xi took energy in 2012 — Biden has claimed that as vp, he spent north of 70 hours with Xi and traveled 17,000 miles with him throughout China and america – each exaggerations, however nonetheless reflective of a relationship that’s now maybe crucial on the planet.
The final time they met nose to nose was in 2015, throughout Xi’s first state go to to the US as China’s high chief, whereas Biden was nonetheless vp.
Shifting ties: However as relations between their international locations plummeted, the as soon as pleasant dynamics between the 2 leaders have additionally shifted.
Xi is an ideological hardliner who believes in China’s return to the middle of the world stage and is skeptical – some would say hostile – towards America. Biden, in the meantime, has grown more and more weary of China’s authoritarian turn under Xi, and has framed the rivalry between the 2 international locations as a battle between autocracy and democracy.
Final summer season, Biden publicly pushed again on being described as an “previous buddy” of Xi’s.
“Let’s get one thing straight. We all know one another nicely; we’re not previous associates. It’s simply pure enterprise,” he stated on the time.
Learn extra concerning the Biden-Xi relationship here.