The newly announced virtual summit on Monday evening between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping comes one day after the Chinese president warned against a return to cold war-era tensions in the Asia-Pacific.
“Attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds are bound to fail,” he told a virtual business conference on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the cold war era.”
Xi’s remarks seem to refer to recent US efforts with allies and partners to dampen what Washington sees as China’s growing economic and military influence in the region.
Biden to hold virtual summit with Xi
Joe Biden will hold a virtual summit with China’s president, Xi Jinping, on Monday evening, amid rising tensions since the US president took office earlier this year.
“The two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC [People’s Republic of China], as well as ways to work together where our interests align,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Friday. “Throughout, President Biden will make clear US intentions and priorities and be clear and candid about our concerns.”
At the recent Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, Biden criticized Xi for failing to show up. Tensions between Washington and Beijing have also been exacerbated by the Chinese military’s recent sorties near Taiwan, the democratically-governed island claimed by Beijing.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken said this week that the US would ensure Taiwan can defend itself to avoid anyone “trying to disrupt the status quo by force”.
Donald Trump defended rioters at the Capitol on 6 January who threatened to “hang Mike Pence”, his vice-president, according to recorded remarks released on Friday.
Trump said it was “common sense” when asked about the chants.
Trump was speaking to the ABC chief Washington correspondent, Jonathan Karl, for his book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, which will be published on Tuesday. The recording was released by Axios.
Karl asked Trump if he was worried about Pence during the attack on the Capitol by rioters who aimed to stop the certification of electoral college results and thereby overturn Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden.
“No,” Trump said. “I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape. No. Because I had heard he was in very good shape. But, but, no, I think – ”
Karl interjected: “Because you heard those chants – that was terrible. I mean – ”
Trump said: “He could have – well, the people were very angry.”
Karl said: “They were saying ‘hang Mike Pence’.”
“Because it’s common sense, Jon,” Trump said, repeating baseless claims about election fraud.
Meadows refuses to appear for deposition before Capitol attack committee
Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff to Donald Trump, did not appear for his scheduled deposition before the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.
Meadows had been expected to start testifying at 10 am ET, but that time came and went without any appearance of the former administration official.
Select committee aides were seen leaving the conference room where Meadows was supposed to testify after it became clear he would not show up.
Asked whether the committee would immediately move to bring criminal contempt charges against Meadows, one of the committee counselors declined to comment.
In case you missed it yesterday: The federal appeals court in Washington DC granted Donald Trump’s request to temporarily block the National Archives from releasing records to the bipartisan House select committee analysing the Capitol insurrection and the conduct of Trump and senior aides in his administration in relation to it.
He had asked the appeals court on Thursday morning for a temporary injunction that followed US district judge Tanya Chutkan’s ruling earlier that Trump could not claim executive privilege over the White House documents subpoenaed by the committee.
As is customary, the DC circuit court randomly assigns three judges to a panel to consider the appeal.
It was announced that the three judges who will hear Trump’s appeal following the granting of the temporary stay will be Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins and Ketanji Brown Jackson. All three were nominated by Democrats.
The court has set a hearing for 30 November to hear oral arguments in the case, granting a request for an expedited schedule.
The move to threaten criminal prosecution for Mark Meadows amounts to an abrupt and sharp escalation for the select committee as it seeks to enforce its subpoena against one of Donald Trump’s closest aides first issued in September.
But despite the threat of criminal prosecution, Meadows was not expected to attend his deposition, scheduled to take place with select committee counsel in a nondescript House office building on Capitol Hill, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The select committee is targeting Meadows since his role as Trump’s former White House chief of staff means he is likely to hold the key to uncover Trump’s involvement in efforts on 5 January to stop the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.
The select committee also believes that Meadows remained by Trump’s side for most of 6 January, and was therefore in a unique position to know what the former president was privately thinking and doing at the White House as the deadly attack on the Capitol unfolded.