U.S. President Joe Biden will tell Chinese leader Xi Jinping at a virtual meeting on Monday meant toreduce the chances of a superpower conflict that China must "play by the rules of the road" like a responsible nation, a senior U.S. administration official said.
The video dialogue, initiated by Biden and expected by the United States to run for several hours on Monday evening, Washington time, will be about setting terms for future U.S.-China competition, the official told reporters.
Both sides hope the most extensive talks between the leaders since Biden became president in January will make the relationship less acrimonious.
The United States and China, the world's biggest economies, disagree on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing's expanding nuclear arsenal and its stepped-up pressure on Taiwan, among other issues.
"This is an opportunity for President Biden to tell President Xi directly that he expects him to play by the rules of the road, which is what other responsible nations do," the U.S. official told reporters, citing a litany of U.S. concerns, including China's economic "coercion" of U.S. allies and alleged human rights abuses.
Biden is focused on writing those rules "in a way that is favorable to our interests and our values and those of our allies and partners", the official said, adding that talks with China must be "substantive and not symbolic".
"This is not a meeting where we expect deliverables to be coming out," Reuters cited the official as saying.
U.S. officials have played down the possibility of progress on trade, where China is lagging in a commitment to buy $200 billion more in U.S. goods and services. Not on Biden's agenda are U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods that Beijing and business groups hope to be scaled back.