U.S. President Joe Biden said Sunday that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s reelection victory in Nevada that has secured Democrats’ control of the U.S. Senate will give him a boost as he heads into a highly anticipated Monday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“I know I’m coming in stronger, but I don’t need that,” Biden said responding to VOA’s question following remarks in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday.
Biden spent the weekend in the Cambodian capital to participate in the ASEAN and East Asia Summit with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their dialogue partners.
The U.S. chair was empty as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered his opening remarks at the EAS summit as Biden delivered his brief remarks in front of American traveling press to congratulate Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“He’s got a majority again,” Biden said.
Biden acknowledged Xi’s recent reelection as the Chinese Communist Party’s general secretary, securing his term as the country’s leader for a precedent-breaking third term.
“His circumstances have changed – to state the obvious – at home,” Biden said.
The Biden-Xi meeting, their first in person since Biden came into office in 2021, will happen in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of a G-20 summit of the world’s major economies.
Stakes of the summit are high but expectations are low for the two great powers locked in an intensifying rivalry.
Beijing and Washington disagree on major issues, including Taiwan, freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, trade practices and control of advance technology following U.S. export control rules on semiconductors, launched in October that will restrict China’s ability to produce and purchase high-end computer chips.
Biden said that he and Xi know each other well and have “very little misunderstanding.”
“We just got to figure out where the red lines are and what we — what are the most important things to each of us going into the next two years,” he said.