US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have felt tensions over security, trade and human rights. But, after years of a chill, they are hoping for a thaw. On Tuesday, both leaders arrived in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Biden and Xi will meet on Wednesday for their first talks in a year. During that time, their aides have traded accusations over Chinese spy balloons, computer chips and their roles in global conflicts. However, White House officials say they can work together to "clear up misperceptions" and "avoid surprises."
Ahead of his departure, Biden said in Washington, "We're not trying to decouple from China, but what we're trying to do is change the relationship for the better."
He added that he wants ties to get back on a "normal course" and believes his side can manage the competition more effectively.
Chinese leaders were angered last year to see then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit Taiwan, which they consider to be part of their country. They suspended communications between Chinese and American military leaders. Xi has warned Biden not to "play with fire."
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said, "Major power competition goes against the trend of the times, and cannot solve problems facing the US and the challenges facing the world."
Xie Feng, the Chinese ambassador to the US, said last week they want assurances that US officials will not try to change China's system or to start a "new Cold War."