President Biden wraps trip to California, APEC summit

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 1:39 PM AKST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden is headed to Delaware on Friday after four days of summits and meetings at the APEC summit in San Francisco, where he touted the importance of trade ties with countries in the Indo-Pacific.

In California, his first stop was a carefully choreographed meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. After a year of rising tensions and little communication between the two, they emerged with agreements to resume military-to-military communication and to crack down on fentanyl. They even broached the possibility of a return of the pandas to the National Zoo in the U.S.

Biden spoke about the give-and-take nature of their relationship:

“This is not -- as my generation would say back in the day, this is not all “Kumbaya.” But it’s straightforward. It’s straightforward. We have real differences with Beijing when it comes to maintaining a fair and level economic playing field and protecting your intellectual property. We’re going to continue to address them with smart policies and strong diplomacy.”

But the summit wasn’t without its hiccups. President Biden referred to President Xi as a dictator, a title the Chinese deemed extremely wrong and irresponsible.

President Biden also met with the leaders of Japan and South Korea and celebrated the economic power of the Pacific region. At a farewell dinner Thursday night, the president hailed the collective economic power of APEC — which supports more than 2 million American jobs.

“Together we can harness the power of the Pacific to grow our economies, to uplift our workers, to protect our planet, to connect our people to one another in the future of a greater prosperity and dignity for all,” he said.

His final stop at the summit was a meeting with Mexico’s president. Biden’s trip to California came as Congress struggled with how to prevent another government shutdown, but it ended with the president signing legislation to keep the government funded through the beginning of the year.