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China, U.S. leaders meet in San Francisco

The flags of China, U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party are displayed in a flag stall at the Yiwu Wholesale Market in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, China, May 10, 2019.

Aly Song | Reuters

BEIJING — U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping were set to meet Wednesday in San Francisco in their first face-to-face encounter in a year.

The summit, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, follows efforts between the U.S. and China to increase high-level communication since the summer, amid continued tensions.

Biden and Xi are widely expected to discuss issues such as curbing fentanyl flows into the U.S., safe use of artificial intelligence, and U.S. restrictions on Chinese access to high-end tech.

Signals of goodwill between the countries have picked up in recent days.

In the hours before the planned summit, the U.S. and China reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate on climate issues.

More direct flights between the U.S. and China are resuming from a low base.

Last month, Chinese commodity importers signed the first agreements since 2017 to buy U.S. agricultural products in bulk, according to a news release from the American embassy in Beijing.

China’s Ministry of Commerce last week announced it was gathering information in an effort to address unequal treatment of foreign businesses in China compared with treatment of domestic firms — which has been a longstanding business complaint.

The Chinese government may also use the summit as an opportunity to announce a commitment to resuming purchases of Boeing‘s 737 Max aircraft, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources.

Boeing declined to comment.

Read more about China from CNBC Pro

Xi arrived in the U.S. on Tuesday local time. It is his first trip to the United States since 2017, when he visited then-President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

The last time that Xi met Biden in person was in the Indonesian island resort of Bali in November 2022. That was Biden’s first meeting with the Chinese leader as American president.

Biden is running for reelection next year.

Xi cemented his power in March by formally gaining an unprecedented third term as president.

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