US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are meeting at a country estate outside San Francisco on Wednesday. They know that talking alone will not end the tensions between their countries, but they are hoping to use the setting to change their relationship for the better.
Biden welcomed Xi to Filoli estate, away from the main venue of a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. It is their first meeting in a year. In that time, they have seen ties sour over trade, sanctions and a spy balloon that flew over the US.
Biden wants to set their relationship back on a "normal course." He hopes to reestablish communications between military leaders that were cut back by Chinese officials last year to protest a visit to Taiwan by then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Both sides have taken pains to emphasize that they are working toward cooperation, not confrontation. Biden and Xi want to use that spirit as they discuss climate change, drug trafficking and the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.
Biden told Xi the purpose of the meeting was to "understand each other" and "to ensure competition does not veer into conflict."
Xi condemned what he called rising "protectionism." However, he said, "Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed. And one country's success is an opportunity for the other."
The meeting drew crowds of protestors and others who were just curious to see the leaders.
Analysts do not expect Xi and Biden to announce any major changes as a result of the meeting. They say the leaders are just hoping to get their relationship on a better footing.