President Biden defined on Tuesday what success would mean for his upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, emphasizing that America cannot ‘decouple’ from China. 

The president said his goal for Wednesday’s meeting is a return to a ‘normal course’ of communication between the U.S. and China. 

‘We get back on a normal course of corresponding, being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another in a crisis. Being able to make sure our military still have contact with one another,’ Biden said in response to a reporter’s question at an event announcing the release of the fifth National Climate Assessment. 

‘We’re not trying to decouple from China, but what we’re trying to do is change the relationship for the better,’ he continued. ‘From my perspective, if in fact the Chinese people – who are in trouble right now economically – if the average homeowner, if the average citizen in China was able to have a decent paying job, that benefits them, it benefits all of us.

‘But I’m not going to continue to sustain support for positions where if we want to invest in China, we have to turn over all our trade secrets,’ he added. 

Biden is set to meet with Xi in California on Wednesday as the two leaders seek to ease tensions between their countries. 

The White House has said Biden and Xi are expected to discuss the relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, including the importance of maintaining ‘open lines of communication.’

A senior administration official previously said the two leaders will also discuss ‘managing competition responsibly,’ along with a range of regional, global and transnational issues, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war and the growing conflicts in the Middle East.

Additionally, they will broach ‘potentially contentious’ topics, including election interference, with Biden planning to warn Xi about potential election influence operations. 

Wednesday’s meeting will be the second in-person meeting between Biden and Xi since the U.S. president took office in January 2021, but the ‘seventh interaction,’ the official said. 

They previously met in Nov. 2022 at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, where they mutually agreed it would be better to have more direct communication between the U.S. and Chinese leadership.

The Biden administration has sought to restore diplomatic relations with China after years of escalating tensions over the status of Taiwan, the coronavirus pandemic and the Trump administration’s threats of new tariffs on Chinese goods. The U.S. has also accused China of stealing American technology and trade secrets, and relations reached a low point earlier this year when the Biden administration announced a Chinese spy craft had drifted into U.S. airspace and was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean. 

China has taken offense to U.S. strategic ambiguity on the Taiwan Independence issue, refusing to acknowledge the island’s claim to sovereignty while still sending diplomatic missions to meet with the Taiwanese leadership.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the violent conflict between Hamas and Israel have also complicated relations as the U.S. and China jostle for strategic diplomatic positions on the conflicts.

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman and Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report. 

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