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Tuesday Briefing: Looking to a Biden-Xi Meeting

President Biden and Xi Jinping last met in November 2022.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

A look ahead to a Biden-Xi meeting

President Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, are set to meet tomorrow as the two seek to maintain ties and as business leaders watch for a thaw.

The summit won’t end the standoff between the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest economies. But it’s a sign that Biden and Xi want to continue relations, despite trade tensions, tit-for-tat sanctions and questions about the future of Taiwan. The Dealbook newsletter takes a look at what’s at stake for the meeting.

American officials have been at pains to emphasize that the U.S. and China are competitors rather than zero-sum rivals. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, has called the countries “economically interdependent,” and Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, has warned that economic separation “would have significant global repercussions.”

Common ground: The U.S. hopes to resume military communications with China that were broken off after Representative Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last year. The U.S. is also seeking cooperation on efforts to stop climate change as well as fentanyl trafficking — China is a major source of the drug.

About business: Many Western companies say it is becoming increasingly difficult to operate in China. But that might not matter for Xi. Images of the Chinese leader breaking bread with American chief executives may be valuable enough for his audience at home.

A history of grim views: A collection of Xi’s speeches from early in his rule shows how, at times, he has voiced an almost fatalistic conviction — even before Beijing’s ties with Washington took a steep dive during the Trump administration — that China’s rise would prompt a backlash from Western rivals.


Mourners gather at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City this month.Credit…Bashar Taleb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Israeli forces reach Gaza’s main hospital

Israeli military vehicles advanced yesterday to the gates of the besieged Al-Shifa hospital complex, Gazan health officials said.

Medicine and food are running out for the hundreds of patients and thousands of people sheltering there. Without electricity or fuel, dozens of corpses are decomposing, a chief nurse and a health official said, and hospital staff members are trying to keep premature babies warm after removing them from now-useless incubators. A chief nurse said that patients on life support were dying because there was little oxygen. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said that a loss of power had led to at least 12 deaths.

Israeli officials say that beneath the hospital complex, a roughly 12-acre compound in Gaza City, is a vast, underground Hamas command center, one of their principal targets in the war. Hamas and doctors at the hospital deny the existence of such a command center.

Here’s the latest.


Leila de Lima before her hearing in Muntinlupa City on Monday.Credit…Francis R Malasig/EPA, via Shutterstock

The Philippines releases a critic of its brutal drug war

The Philippines released on bail its most famous political prisoner, Leila de Lima. She was the public face of opposition to former President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war, in which thousands of people were killed.

De Lima, a former senator who opened multiple investigations into Duterte’s antidrug campaign, was charged on accusations of taking bribes from imprisoned drug traffickers. She was never convicted, but had been detained since February 2017.

Implications: De Lima’s release is likely to improve the Philippine government’s image abroad. Many Western lawmakers have pleaded for her release to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who has made deepening his country’s alliance with Western governments a cornerstone of his foreign policy.

THE LATEST NEWS

Asia Pacific

Nepal said TikTok content was affecting “social harmony.”Credit…Saroj Baizu/NurPhoto, via Getty Images
  • Nepal said it planned to ban TikTok over the platform’s refusal to curb hate content.

  • President Biden and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia planned to announce a new strategic partnership as tensions with China rise in the region.

Around the World

Suella Braverman’s hard-line positions have often stoked divisions in Britain.Credit…Daniel Leal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister, fired his divisive home secretary, Suella Braverman, and brought in David Cameron as foreign secretary.

  • Ukrainian partisans killed three Russian officers in a bomb attack in Melitopol over the weekend, military authorities said.

  • Federal officials are investigating whether the campaign of Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, conspired with members of the Turkish government.

  • After a series of revelations about undisclosed gifts and property deals, the U.S. Supreme Court announced an ethics code.

  • Two hikers were rescued by helicopter in British Columbia after following a nonexistent trail on Google Maps.

Other Big Stories

  • The U.S. is betting on small nuclear reactors to address a big climate problem.

  • A group of start-up companies is trying to ignite fusion energy.

  • A Secret Service agent guarding one of President Biden’s granddaughters fired at three people seen breaking into an unoccupied government vehicle.

A Morning Read

U Moe Zaw Oo, the deputy foreign minister of the National Unity Government of Myanmar.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

The U.S. headquarters of the National Unity Government of Myanmar, formed as an alternative to the junta that orchestrated a 2021 coup, operates out of a co-working space in Washington, D.C., that is barely larger than a cubicle. Its members have to battle for recognition amid global apathy and ignorance in a country that has never made Myanmar a foreign policy priority.

Here’s an in-depth look at their struggle.

CLIMATE

Credit…Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Trees can fight climate change, with some help

Restoring global forests where they naturally occur could potentially capture an additional 226 gigatons of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to about a third of the amount that humans have released since the beginning of the Industrial Era, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

Mainly, the extra storage capacity would come from allowing existing forests to recover to maturity. Sixty-one percent of that capacity would come from protecting existing forests and the other 39 percent from growing trees in deforested areas with low human footprints.

But trees are far from a silver bullet for climate change. Thomas Crowther, the study’s senior author and a professor of ecology, is afraid countries and companies will keep treating them that way, using forests for carbon offsets to enable the continued use of fossil fuels.

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That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Justin

P.S. The Times editor behind the “Overlooked” obituary series talks about an upcoming book compilation.

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