Biden meets with China's President Xi

By Kyle Feldscher, Maureen Chowdhury, Kaanita Iyer and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 10:00 PM ET, Wed November 15, 2023
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6:19 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

Biden says "real progress" made in meeting with Xi

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

US President Joe Biden said on social media he has made "real progress" in his talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

"I value the conversation I had today with President Xi because I think it's paramount that we understand each other clearly, leader to leader," the president wrote. "There are critical global challenges that demand our joint leadership. And today, we made real progress."

Biden and Xi have been meeting for hours at a historic estate south of San Francisco.

6:48 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

 Biden takes a walk with Xi, says talks are going "well"

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after a meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' week in Woodside, California, on November 15.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after a meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' week in Woodside, California, on November 15. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping took a walk following their working lunch on Wednesday.

The men walked very slowly side-by-side down a brick walkway, each wearing their suit jackets. 

They did not have a translator with them and did not appear in heavy conversation, aside from Biden pointing out something in the trees.

Biden waved with both hands to reporters. When asked how talks were going, he made a thumbs-up sign and said: “Well.”

Biden is expected to hold a solo press conference once the summit has concluded. The two presidents began their meeting just after 2 p.m. ET.

6:17 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

By the numbers: Biden's news conferences

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Joe Biden’s news conference Wednesday in the Bay Area will mark the president’s 32nd news conference since taking office, according to CNN's analysis. 

It is rare for Biden to hold a solo news conference: This marks his 14th solo news conference since taking office, and the third solo news conference of 2023. He has held 18 joint news conferences alongside another world leader. 

The average length of Biden’s solo news conferences is 38 minutes – the longest was 111 minutes and shortest was 16 minutes.

Former President Donald Trump, by contrast, held 88 news conferences overall during his presidency, and at the same point in his presidency, he had held 54 news conferences, per an analysis of University of California-Santa Barbara data. Former President Barack Obama held 163 news conferences and had held 63 at this point in his presidency. And former President George W. Bush held 210 news conferences during his presidency, and 62 at this point in his presidency. 

Recent presidents who had held fewer news conferences at this point include former President Ronald Reagan, at 20, and former President Richard Nixon, at 22. 

5:30 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

Here's what Biden and Xi are eating for lunch

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Joe Biden is now participating in working lunch with Chinese President Xi Jinping following the first session of their summit, which lasted nearly two hours.

The two leaders are joined by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, along with two Chinese officials, according to the White House.

The White House also shared the lunch menu, which includes:

  • Herbed Ricotta Ravioli
  • Artichoke Crisps
  • Tarragon roasted Heritage Chicken
  • Carolina Gold Rice Pilaf
  • Charred Broccolini + Brussels Sprouts
  • Almond Meringue Cake
  • Praline Buttercream
  • Concord Grape Sauce
5:07 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

First session of Biden-Xi summit ends

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a bilateral meeting at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the APEC summit, in Woodside, California, on November 15.
President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a bilateral meeting at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the APEC summit, in Woodside, California, on November 15. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The first session of the summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping ended after a little more than two hours.

The leaders still have two more closed-press sessions before the summit concludes.

4:21 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

Xi emphasizes bilateral cooperation in meeting with Biden ahead of APEC summit

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored the importance of cooperation ahead of his meeting with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in San Francisco. 

Xi addressed the "grave problems" that have existed in the world economy since the two leaders last met a year ago in Bali. 

"The world has emerged from the Covid pandemic but is still under its tremendous impacts. The global economy is recovering, but its momentum remains sluggish," Xi said. 

Xi called the US-China relationship "the most important bilateral relationship in the world." 

The Chinese leader said that the relationship "should develop in a way that benefits our two people and fulfills our responsibility for human progress."

Xi noted that historically the US-China relationship has "never been smooth sailing." 

"Yet it has kept moving forward amid twists and turns," Xi said.

"For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option. It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other, and conflict and confrontation has unbearable consequences for both sides," Xi said. 

Xi remarked that the leaders have a responsibility to work together for the betterment of their countries and the rest of the world. 

"We shoulder heavy responsibilities for the two peoples, for the world, and for history," Xi said.

4:00 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

The setting of Biden and Xi's meeting has an extensive history

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of APEC in Woodside, California on November 15.
US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of APEC in Woodside, California on November 15. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty I

White House officials scouted a number of venues for Wednesday’s summit between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden before settling on the Filoli historic home and gardens, nestled in a coastal mountain range south of San Francisco.

The Georgian revival-style mansion has a history on the large and small screen: It was seen from the air in the opening credits of the series “Dynasty,” and served as a set piece in 1997’s “George of the Jungle.”

In true California fashion, the home was built in 1917 for William Bowers Bourn II, the owner of gold mines. He chose the name by combing a few letters from his personal credo: “Fight for a just cause. Love your Fellow Man. Live a Good Life.” In 1975, it was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The building has 56 rooms, including servants quarters. It is surrounded by 16 acres of manicured formal gardens, separated by hedges and brick walls. It’s a popular wedding venue for Silicon Valley’s tech executives.

Normally, it welcomes visitors. But on Wednesday, its website announced a closure from November 13 to 15 “while we deck the halls for the Holidays!”

The location for Biden and Xi's summit wasn’t disclosed ahead of time, as officials worked to avoid demonstrations or security issues.

As they surveyed possible venues, officials took into account security considerations and how much the space could accommodate. But there were more superficial factors at play, too — like the look and feel of the venue, one source said.

“All the logistical arrangements are pretty intense, as you would imagine,” one senior US administration official said.

3:07 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

Biden and Xi reminisce over their long history

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

In their opening remarks, both President Biden Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping made reference to their long relationship, cultivated when they were both vice presidents.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Biden told Xi, saying while they don’t always agree — “which wouldn't surprise anyone” — their meetings have always been “candid, straightforward and useful.”

Xi also went down memory lane.

“Coming here, I think of your trip to China when I was the vice president of China. We had a meeting. It was 12 years ago,” he said. “I still remember our interactions very vividly and it always gives me a lot of thoughts.”

When Biden was serving as vice president, he was dispatched to take the temperature of the new Chinese vice president. The men traveled together across China, a trip Biden often references in his speeches.

At the time, it was clear to Obama administration officials that Xi was poised to become president. What few officials could have predicted at the time was that Biden would also be president 12 years later.

2:51 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

Biden tells Xi competition cannot turn into conflict

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Joe Biden welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the APEC summit, in Woodside, California, on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the APEC summit, in Woodside, California, on Wednesday. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

US President Joe Biden said it is essential he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have a frank understanding of each other as they begin a high-stakes summit in California.

I think it's paramount that you and I understand each other clearly leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication," Biden told Xi as the summit got underway.

Biden said competition between US and China could not tilt toward conflict and added that his past meetings with Xi had been "candid, straightforward and useful."

"As always, there is no substitute to face to face discussions. I've always found our discussions straightforward and frank," Biden said.

Biden said the leaders had a responsibility to their populations to work together, including on issues of climate change, countering narcotics trafficking and approaching artificial intelligence.