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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan will travel to Zurich, Switzerland, this week to meet China's top foreign policy official Yang Jiechi, according to a National Security Council spokesperson.

Why it matters: It will be the most senior-level, in-person meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials since Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met their counterparts in Alaska in March, where a post-summit press conference devolved into a verbal sparring match.

Driving the news: The meeting comes days after the State Department condemned the Chinese military's record number of incursions into Taiwan's air defense identification zone.

  • It will be the first in-person meeting since the U.S. announced a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with the U.K. and Australia, aggravating China.
  • The Biden administration also announced this week that China is not meeting its commitments under the Phase One trade deal and that it will keep Trump-era tariffs in place as the U.S. re-engages Beijing in trade talks.

The big picture: President Biden spoke directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sept. 9 in an attempt to "set guardrails" on the relationship, after Chinese officials snubbed and insulted Biden's aides during lower-level talks — including climate envoy John Kerry.

  • One possible item on the agenda for Sullivan's talks with Yang could be a virtual summit between Biden and Xi.
  • Xi has not left China since the start of the pandemic, making an in-person meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome later this month unlikely.

Between the lines: Sullivan's meeting with Yang will be followed by visits with key U.S. allies, including NATO and EU officials in Brussels and French national security adviser Emmanuel Bonne in Paris.

Go deeper: Biden's Taiwan test

Go deeper

Obama to attend UN climate summit in Glasgow

Former President Barack Obama speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Presidential Center at Jackson Park in Chicago on Sept. 28. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP

Former President Barack Obama will travel to Glasgow next month for the UN climate summit, CNN reports.

Driving the news: Obama will meet with young climate change advocates and "urge more robust action going forward by all of us — governments, the private sector, philanthropy and civil society," according to an Obama spokesperson, per CNN.

13 hours ago - World

How unheeded warnings about China are now hurting Chinese Canadians

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For years Canadian officials prioritized trade with China and ignored warnings from Chinese Canadians that the Chinese government presented a serious political and moral challenge, a Canadian journalist argues in a new book.

Why it matters: An earlier response by democratic governments could have relieved the pressure on Chinese diaspora communities and sent a strong message to Beijing that exporting authoritarianism wouldn't be tolerated.

Definition of success at UN Climate Summit is in flux

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The UN Climate Summit in Glasgow is less than 20 days away, and diplomats have entered a crucial period when expectations are raised or lowered to guard against any blowback that might come from a particular outcome.

Driving the news: Officials in the U.S. and abroad are sending clear signals that the odds that COP26 will meet some of its most important goals are diminishing, for a variety of reasons both macro and micro in scale.