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Biden says US not trying to 'decouple' from China, but seeks improved ties

Nov. 15, 2023 - 09:32 By Yonhap
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on efforts to tackle climate change at the White House in Washington on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States is not trying to "decouple" from China, but pursuing better relations with its assertive rival, as he prepares for a summit with the Chinese leader this week.

Biden's remarks apparently set an amicable tone ahead of the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping slated to take place in San Francisco on Wednesday on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

"As I told you, we are not trying to decouple from China," he said during a press conference on efforts to address climate change. "What we are trying to do is change the relationship for the better."

Asked about how he would define success with the upcoming summit with Xi, Biden said it would mean the normalization of bilateral communication.

"Get back on a normal course of corresponding, being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another in a crisis, being able to make sure our militaries still have contact with one another," he said in response to the question.

But Biden staked out his position against China's trade practices.

"I am not going to continue to sustain the support for positions where if we want to invest in China, we have to turn over all of our trade secrets," he said.

In recent months, Washington has been hammering away at the mantra of "de-risking" the relationship with Beijing as it is striving to elicit international cooperation on climate change, public health, global security threats and other challenges.

U.S. officials have said that Biden and Xi are expected to discuss a "whole range" of issues, including bilateral relations, North Korean threats, Taiwan, the war between Israel and the Hamas militant group, and Russia's protracted war in Ukraine, according to them.

This week's meeting between the leaders will be their second in-person summit following their last talks during the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, last November. It will also mark their seventh interaction since Biden took office in January 2021. (Yonhap)