Timeline: U.S. Relations With China 1949–2021

A senior US administration official on Wednesday said that President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping aim to meet virtually before the end of the year.

According to the official, the two leaders have struck an "agreement in principle" for a virtual bilateral meeting. They noted that it would be part of an effort to regulate competition between the two countries.

According to individuals acquainted with the situation, the meeting will take place virtually because Xi is not planning to attend any upcoming multilateral events in person, including the G20, COP26, and APEC.

The details of Biden and Xi's meeting, including the date, are still being ironed out. The two leaders last met on September 9th and discussed "guardrails" to guarantee that competitiveness between the two countries does not devolve into conflict, according to the White House.

The accord comes after a six-hour meeting between White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Chinese colleague Yang Jiechi in Zurich on Wednesday. Tensions between the two countries have been rising over Taiwan and the US-China trade dispute.

China has ratcheted up tensions near Taiwan in the last month, sending a slew of jets into the island's air-defense-identification zone. At the same time, naval training was held in adjacent waters by the US and numerous allies, including Japan and the United Kingdom.

On Monday, US Trade Representative Kathryn Tai accused China of failing to live up to its obligations under previous President Donald Trump's phase 1 trade agreement, promising to safeguard US economic interests.