US President Joe Biden emerged Wednesday from four hours of talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping confident the fraught US-China relationship was improving, touting agreements on curbing fentanyl production and restoring military communication while still acknowledging that deep strains remain.
Biden said he and Xi had each agreed to pick up the phone and talk during periods of disagreement, and called the talks “some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.”
Yet departing the summit following a news conference, Biden said he still considered Xi a dictator, despite the progress they’d achieved over the course of their meeting.
The results on fentanyl and military communication were expected ahead of the talks, and amount to important progress in improving the still-tense relationship between Washington and Beijing. During his news conference following the summit, Biden summed up his approach to the Chinese leader.
“Trust but verify, as the old saying goes,” he said. “That’s where I am.”
Biden had aimed to use the meeting to put the US-China relationship on steadier footing after months of…