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Biden attends APEC summit after Xi Jinping meeting: Highlights

Biden participated in several summit events today after having spent yesterday focused on dialogue with China's president.
Image: President Joe Biden greets Chinese President Xi Jinping
President Joe Biden greets Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Woodside, Calif., on Wednesday.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

What to know about today's APEC summit

  • President Joe Biden today attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where he delivered remarks this afternoon and this evening. He capped the day off by attending a dinner with the heads of the delegations.
  • Biden joined the summit after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday, breaking a yearlong silence marked by rising tensions between the two countries. Asked at a solo news conference after the meeting whether he saw Xi as a dictator, Biden said he did, prompting criticism from China's Foreign Affairs Ministry.
  • Biden and Xi discussed a plan to cut down the flow of fentanyl precursors into the U.S., and China agreed to reopen military communication lines.
  • Taiwan remains a critical sticking point. While Biden asked that Beijing respect the self-ruling democracy's electoral process ahead of its coming presidential election, Chinese officials said the U.S. should support "China's peaceful reunification" with the island, which it claims as its own.
21d ago / 3:52 AM UTC

Biden and the first lady host APEC dinner

Biden and the first lady will host delegation heads for an APEC dinner, capping off a day of meetings and speeches.

The dinner is taking place at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, according to the White House schedule.

21d ago / 3:44 AM UTC

Biden to meet with Mexico's president tomorrow

On the last day on his California trip, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Biden also plans to host the APEC Leaders Retreat, where he will hand over the chair position to Peruvian President Dina Boluarte, according to the White House schedule.

Biden will leave San Francisco tomorrow. He plans to spend the weekend in Wilmington, Delaware, according to the White House.

21d ago / 3:31 AM UTC

Biden and Japan's Kishida condemn Hamas

Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida condemned Hamas during their meeting in San Francisco today, according to a White House readout.

“The two leaders condemned Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism, reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself, and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians,” the White House said.

Biden and Kishida also discussed a variety of additional international issues, including the war in Ukraine and coordination on China, and “agreed to accelerate trilateral cooperation, according to the readout.

Biden hosted the leaders of Japan and South Korea at Camp David, Maryland, over the summer.

21d ago / 3:13 AM UTC

Darren Criss to perform at APEC dinner

Singer-songwriter Darren Criss is set to perform for the dinner attendees.

Criss recently performed in London and Paris and will follow tonight's performance with a string of stops across the U.S. in the lead-up to the holidays.

21d ago / 2:55 AM UTC

Biden arrives at APEC dinner


Biden's motorcade arrived at the APEC dinner, according to a pool report.

The dinner is taking place at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco.

21d ago / 2:41 AM UTC

First lady to host APEC spouse program tomorrow

First lady Jill Biden will host a program for the spouses of APEC leaders tomorrow morning, according to the official schedule released by the White House.

During the program, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will facilitate a conversation about mental health and the first lady will deliver remarks, according to the schedule.

22d ago / 1:47 AM UTC

Biden highlights his 'challenge' for APEC countries

In a post to X, Biden said his "challenge" for APEC members "is to measure success not by the bottom lines on our balance sheet — but by the lives we lift up and the potential we unleash."

"Let’s build a global economy where everyone has a chance to succeed and workers get a share of the value they create," he continued.

The post was accompanied by a photo of the president at the APEC summit.

22d ago / 1:17 AM UTC

Biden takes photo with leaders of South Korea and Japan

Biden took a photo with the South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

Biden hosted the two leaders at Camp David, Maryland, in August when they unveiled commitments on annual trilateral meetings and said they intend to hold annual military exercises, as well as share missile warning data about North Korea.

22d ago / 12:58 AM UTC

Biden delivers remarks after a day of meetings

Biden delivered remarks alongside two rows of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework leaders.

He said the leaders signed a supply chain agreement to identify bottlenecks before issues occur, such as during the height of the Covid pandemic. He also said they concluded agreements to accelerate clean energy transitions, as well as an agreement to combat corruption.

Biden went on to say the U.S. is launching an "investment accelerator" to bring in private capital for investments in clean energy and technology.

"Government investment is not enough," he said. "We need to mobilize private investment."

In a statement by the leaders of the IPEF countries, the heads of state also touted the launch of a critical minerals dialogue "to foster closer collaboration on strengthening IPEF critical mineral supply chains and boosting regional economic competitiveness."

"Through our ongoing engagement and cooperation, IPEF will enhance our ability to promote workers’ rights, protect the environment, and create decent work and inclusive, sustainable economic opportunities in a future of peace, stability, development, and prosperity for all our people," the statement concluded.

22d ago / 11:50 PM UTC

Blinken says outcome of Biden-Xi talks will 'make a real difference'

In an interview with "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the progress made at yesterday's Biden-Xi meeting.

Blinken specifically pointed to the resumption of military-to-military talks and counternarcotics initiatives.

"That's going to make a real difference in the lives of virtually every American community," he said.

22d ago / 11:11 PM UTC

Victor Cha, the senior vice president for Asia and Korea at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an interview that strengthening communication between Biden and Xi helps lower the chances of China’s invading Taiwan.

22d ago / 10:30 PM UTC

Harris delivers APEC remarks, announces new initiative

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Vice President Kamala Harris announced “the launch of the Women In the Sustainable Economy initiative, also known as WISE,” in remarks today at an APEC program focused on women's economic participation.

Harris said the initiative will invest more than $900 million from the public and private sectors, including $163 million from the federal government.

"Through this new initiative, we will provide skills and training in areas such as engineering and the manufacturing of solar panels," she said. "We will increase access to finance for women-owned businesses in these industries, and we will increase girls' access to education.”

22d ago / 10:02 PM UTC

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., downplayed the impact of Biden's calling Xi a dictator.

22d ago / 8:56 PM UTC

Biden's motorcade arrives at family photo location

Biden's motorcade arrived at another part of the convention center at 11:50 a.m. PT for a family photo with APEC leaders.

22d ago / 8:56 PM UTC

Leaders start working lunch

Biden delivered remarks to the group of leaders attending a working lunch and informal dialogue. The lunch follows the APEC family photo.

Secretary Janet Yellen and Mike Pyle, deputy national security advisor for international economics, attended the program as part of the U.S. delegation.

The lunch also included 20 APEC leaders and three guest leaders — according to the White House — only one of whom is a woman.

22d ago / 7:55 PM UTC

Biden talks about managing relationship with China

Biden, addressing his meeting with Xi during his APEC remarks, said he is intent on "responsibly managing the competition" between the two countries.

Biden received applause when he said the U.S. and China had resumed military-to-military talks, which had previously stalled. Military communications are intended to avoid unintentional conflict.

The audience also applauded when Biden said that a stable relationship between the two largest economies is good for the entire world.

"Let me be clear, we are de-risking and diversifying our economic relations with the PRC, not decoupling, not decoupling," Biden said, referring to the People's Republic of China. "We'll be firm standing up for our values and our interests."

His remarks concluded at around 11:40 a.m. PT and lasted about 20 minutes.

22d ago / 7:35 PM UTC

Biden delivers APEC remarks

Biden began his remarks at the APEC CEO Summit. It’s the first public event on his schedule of the day.

He said the choices they make will matter to the entire world. Biden also used a line he frequently repeats during speeches aimed at domestic audiences, touting an economy that grows "from the middle out and the bottom up."

"My message to all of you here today is, leaders of government and industry: You can count on the United States," Biden said. "We're delivering on our promises and we're doubling down on our progress."

The program is taking place at a convention center in San Francisco.

22d ago / 7:11 PM UTC

Biden arrives at APEC CEO Summit

Biden's motorcade has pulled up to the APEC CEO summit at 11:04 a.m. The president is traveling with a slew of top aides, including Jake Sullivan, Mike Donilon and Jen O'Malley Dillon.

He's running behind from his released schedule, which had him delivering remarks at 10:45 a.m. PT.

Shortly after delivering remarks, he will participate in a family photo and host a working lunch, according to the White House schedule.

22d ago / 7:07 PM UTC

Are the pandas coming back?

While there were plenty of major global issues on the agenda for Biden’s summit with Xi yesterday, the promise of new pandas to the United States was not on the list and did not come up during those talks, according to a senior administration official. 

So when Xi announced at a dinner with business leaders later in the evening that China was “ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation,” it came as a surprise to the White House. 

Xi indicated that China would “do our best to meet the wishes of the Californians so as to deepen the friendly ties between our two peoples” and even referred to the San Diego Zoo as a potential home for future pandas.

22d ago / 6:22 PM UTC

President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged opening remarks in Woodside, California, yesterday for a high-stakes summit to discuss U.S.-China relations.

22d ago / 6:22 PM UTC

Highlights from yesterday's Biden-Xi summit

Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for a summit yesterday in Woodside, California, the first time in a year that they spoke.

While Biden said the went “well” and gave a thumbs up in response to shouted questions by reporters, he and Xi remained far apart on some key issues — including Taiwan. While Biden urged Beijing to respect the electoral process in the upcoming presidential election, Chinese officials urged support for China's "reunification" with the self-governing island nation.

On deliverables, Biden said during a news conference after the meeting that the U.S. and China are resuming direct military talks that aim to prevent unintentional conflict, and that they made progress with plans to reduce transport of fentanyl ingredients from China.

Biden said that he brought up the issue of U.S. citizens detained in China or prevented from leaving the country, but that there was “no agreement on that.” Prior to the summit, U.S. lawmakers and family members had demanded the release of Americans the U.S. government considers wrongfully held in China, including Mark Swidan, Kai Li and David Lin.

Biden also stood by his description of Xi earlier this year as a “dictator,” prompting criticism from China's foreign ministry.

Readouts of the meeting from both the U.S. and China said both leaders vowed to “accelerate efforts” on curbing climate change. In addition, Biden raised concerns about “human rights abuses” in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong with Xi, the White House said.

Separately, when asked by a reporter about hostages in Gaza, including a 3-year-old American who is reportedly being held, Biden said: “I’m not going to stop till we get her.” He later said he didn’t believe the Israel-Hamas war would end “until there’s a two-state solution.”

22d ago / 6:22 PM UTC

Biden's schedule at APEC today

Biden has several events on the agenda today as he fully participates in summit activities following his meeting on the sidelines yesterday with Xi.

His itinerary includes remarks at a CEOs summit at 1:45 p.m. ET, followed by a "family photo" with APEC and guest country leaders at a little after 3 p.m. ET.

After that, Biden will attend an informal dialogue of leaders and a working lunch. He then delivers remarks and participates in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework participants' photo at 6:30 p.m. ET before hosting a dinner with the heads of the delegations at 10:45 p.m. ET.