The US president, Joe Biden, will meet the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, face to face for the first time in a year on Wednesday, the White House said, in high-stakes diplomacy aimed at curbing tensions between the world’s two superpowers.

The closely watched interaction, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in the San Francisco Bay Area, could last hours and involve teams of officials from Beijing and Washington.

The meeting will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since their meeting ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia’s Bali last year.

The two heads of state will have in-depth communication on issues of strategic, overarching and fundamental importance in shaping China-U.S. relations and major issues concerning world peace and development, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of APEC’s first leaders’ meeting, Xi’s trip to APEC upon invitation reflects the great importance China attaches to Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, the spokesperson said.

With mounting factors of instability and uncertainty in the world economy, there is a widely shared expectation for the Asia-Pacific to remain an economic engine to lead global growth and APEC is a key platform for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, he said.

President Xi will deliver an important speech at the meeting to fully elaborate on China’s major propositions for deepening Asia-Pacific cooperation and driving regional and global growth.

“We hope that all parties will remember what brought countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific together in the first place, focus on the region’s urgent needs, deepen solidarity and cooperation, deliver on the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 in an all-round and balanced way, and work for positive outcomes at the meeting, to provide new growth impetus for the Asia-Pacific and the wider world and jointly build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future,” said the spokesperson.

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