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Deal reached for Biden-Xi talks at APEC San Francisco, but details still being worked out

President Joe Biden steps off of Marine One as he arrives at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, on Friday. | Source: Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to meet on the sidelines of next month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, according to a U.S. official familiar with the planning.

The two sides worked out an agreement in principle to hold a meeting during the summit as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Friday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, according to the official, who was not authorized to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official added that two sides have still not worked out details on the exact day of the meeting, venue and other logistics.

The White House said in a statement following Friday's meetings that the two sides were "working toward" a Biden-Xi face-to-face on the sidelines of APEC, a forum of 21 Pacific countries.

Biden met Friday with China's top diplomat, a conversation that was viewed as the precursor to a potential sit-down with Xi next month.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, with their delegations during a bilateral meeting at the State Department in Washington on Friday. | Source: Jose Luis Magana

The encounter with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was the latest in a series of high-level contacts between the two countries as they explore the possibility of stabilizing an increasingly tense relationship at a time of conflict in Ukraine and Israel.

The White House said Biden "emphasized that both the United States and China need to manage competition in the relationship responsibly and maintain open lines of communication," and he "underscored that the United States and China must work together to address global challenges."

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Biden and Wang met in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, and Blinken and Sullivan were also present, according to administration spokesman John Kirby.

Kirby said Biden viewed the meeting as "a positive development, and a good opportunity to keep the conversation going."

Biden had been widely expected to talk with Wang, a reciprocal action after Xi met with Blinken in June.

Wang is in the midst of a three-day visit to Washington, where he's been meeting with top U.S. officials.

What exactly is APEC, and why is San Francisco hosting part of it this year? KQED journalist and APEC Host Committee Press Ambassador Priya David Clemens explains. | Video by Jesse Rogala