Biden’s Senate win gives him “stronger” hands with Xi

4 Min Read

PHNOM PENH: US President Joe Biden on Sunday said that he is “coming in stronger” to his first in-person meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday after US voters returned control of the Senate to his party with the re-election of Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto.

Biden says he goes into Xi meeting politically “stronger” after the midterm election. “I know I’m coming in stronger,” US President Joe Biden said in Phnom Penh, where he is meeting with other Asian leaders in Cambodia.

“I feel good and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years,” he said after the Democrats retained control of the Senate.

China’s Xi and Biden have known each for more than a decade, but Monday will see them meet face to face for the first time in their current roles.

“We have very little misunderstanding. We just gotta figure out what the red lines are,” said Biden.

The relationship between the world’s biggest economies has deteriorated since Biden took office over economic competition, human rights issues and rising tensions between China and Taiwan.

Washington and Beijing are at loggerheads over issues ranging from trade to human rights in China’s Xinjiang region and the status of the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

Biden is set to confront a series of stark challenges in his sit-down with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, critical allies in an Indo-Pacific region rattled by an increasingly belligerent North Korea. An assertive and confrontational China, long a central animating issue for the Biden administration, also looms large, reported CNN.

Biden will also meet with Kishida and Yoon individually before their trilateral meeting.

Biden’s stop at the Asian nation’s summit comes as advisers see a clear boost from bucking the historical and political trends in the midterm elections.

The party defied the historical trend of midterm elections breaking against parties in power and overcame anxiety over high inflation, cementing its majority as voters rejected Republican candidates who had aligned themselves with former President Donald Trump and in many cases parroted his lies about widespread election fraud.

Retaining Senate control is a huge boost to President Joe Biden over the remaining two years of his first term in the White House, with one more Senate race outstanding that will determine the final balance of power in the chamber and how much leverage the president’s party will ultimately have.

“I think it’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates,” Biden told reporters in Cambodia shortly after news outlets projected Democrats would keep their Senate majority.

“They’re all running on the same program. Wasn’t anybody who wasn’t running on what we did,” Biden went on.

Democrats will be able to confirm Biden’s judicial nominees – avoiding scenarios such as the one former President Barack Obama faced in 2016, when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a vote on his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. It also means that Senate Democrats can reject bills passed by the House and can set their own agenda, reported CNN.

The Senate win comes with control of the House – where Republicans were widely expected to win a majority – still up for grabs. Ballots are still being counted in key districts in some states, including California, Arizona and Oregon, with large shares of mail-in ballots.

Even if Democrats don’t retain control of the House, they could leave the GOP with a small and unruly majority. (ANI)

Share this Article