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13 Nov, 2022 04:56

Biden has ‘stronger’ mandate to confront China’s Xi

The US leader feels empowered by the projected Democratic midterm success
Biden has ‘stronger’ mandate to confront China’s Xi

President Joe Biden has claimed the results of the US midterm elections put him in a better position to have a “straightforward” discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, when they will meet face-to-face for the first time since the US leader took office.

“I feel good. I'm looking forward to the next couple of years,” Biden said on Sunday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Asked whether his party’s success puts him in a stronger position ahead of negotiations with Xi, Biden said: “I know I'm coming in stronger, but I don't need that. I know, Xi Jinping... I've always had straightforward discussions with him.”

We have very little misunderstanding. We just gotta figure out what the red lines are.

Biden and Xi are set to meet next week on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia – the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office last year. Though the White House has stated they will discuss “efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication” and how to “responsibly manage competition,” the Taiwan issue is also expected to be high on the agenda.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Washington would “brief” Taipei on the results of the meeting, sparking condemnation from Beijing. The Chinese government insisted that divulging the details of such a top-level discussion would be an “egregious” violation of diplomatic protocols and bilateral agreements.

US election authorities have yet to certify the results of the midterms, with the vote count continuing in Nevada and Arizona, and Georgia heading for a runoff vote in December. However, multiple major US media outlets already declared victories for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada and another incumbent Democrat, Arizona’s Mark Kelly, which would ensure that President Joe Biden’s party will retain control of the Senate. 

Democrats are projected to hold at least 50 of the chamber’s 100 seats, even if incumbent Raphael Warnock loses his runoff in Georgia, and Vice President Kamala Harris casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie.