The two leaders met and held talks for around four hours at a historic home just outside of San Francisco, as Asian and Pacific leaders gathered for an annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
In addition to this formal bilateral meeting, Biden, Xi and their top advisers shared lunch and were photographed strolling around the verdant grounds of the luxury estate where their meeting took place. (Related: Pentagon warns China now has over 500 operational nuclear warheads as it seeks nuclear parity with the U.S.)
Biden claimed in a statement to the press after the meeting that he and Xi had "some of the most constructive and productive discussions we've had." He added that the White House will "keep the lines of communication open" and that Xi has expressed his willingness "to pick up the phone." If this is true, then this would be the first time in a year that high-level communication lines between Washington and Beijing were opened.
Reports on the meeting noted that Biden and Xi were able to reach agreements on certain issues. China agreed to help the U.S. curb the illegal production of fentanyl in Latin America. Beijing and Washington have agreed to reopen military-to-military communications, allowing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to speak directly with his Chinese counterpart.
Biden and Xi also reportedly agreed to hold more talks on the risks and safety issues regarding the proliferation of artificial intelligence technology.
Biden and Xi reportedly held a "clear-headed" and "not heated" exchange regarding Taiwan, perhaps the most sensitive topic hindering better relations between the U.S. and the communist nation, and the one issue that could lead to a full-blown conflict between the two nuclear powers. Even Xi reportedly told Biden during their meeting that Taiwan was the biggest, most dangerous issue in U.S.-China ties.
Biden claimed he reaffirmed the U.S.'s commitment to the "One China" policy and its belief that any resolution must be peaceful.
"I'm not going to change that," said the president, who added that the U.S. is committed to ensuring "peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."
Biden also reportedly asked Xi to respect Taiwan's electoral process. The self-governing democratic island nation is going to hold elections in January 2024 to choose the country's next president and which party will control the legislature.
Furthermore, Biden reportedly reiterated to Xi that despite its commitment to peace, the U.S. would continue to arm Taiwan as a deterrent against any attempt by China to use force to invade and subjugate the nation and its 24 million residents.
Xi reportedly responded by claiming that Beijing had no plans to invade the islands. He notably did not respond to the sly accusation that China is interested in drawing up an outcome to the Taiwanese presidential election in the country's favor.
Watch this clip from Fox Business warning that Xi was not interested in burying the hatchet with Biden and was instead "sizing up" the president.