President Xi Jinping has stated that China is prepared to appropriately manage its differences with the US, ahead of a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden. 

Xi said China was ready to cooperate with the US on regional and global issues in a letter read by China's ambassador to the US, Qin Gang, at a dinner of the National Committee on US-China Relations in Washington.

The Xi-Biden meeting has yet to be set, although a source familiar with the matter indicated it may happen as soon as next week.

Allies were unnerved by combative US diplomatic interactions with China early in the Biden administration, and US officials believe that direct engagement with Xi is the best way to prevent the world's two largest economies from escalating towards conflict.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on globalization, multilateral trade

When queried about the scheduling of the virtual meeting, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean Pierre reiterated that Biden and Xi had reached an agreement in principle to do it before the end of the year.

She stated that working-level discussions were now taking place to confirm details.

The stakes are high for the meeting – Washington and Beijing have been at odds about everything from the origins of the pandemic to China's increasing nuclear arsenal, but Biden's team has set low expectations for particular outcomes so far.

Experts believe the two sides may work toward a compromise to ease visa restrictions for each other's journalists, and that a deal to reopen consulates in Chengdu and Houston that were closed due to a diplomatic disagreement in 2020 might help improve the mood.