President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual working meeting before year’s end, according to a senior Biden administration official.

The agreement for a more formal leaders’ meeting came as White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi met on Wednesday in Zurich for six hours of talks amid rising tensions between the global powers.

China Martyr’s Day
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Andy Wong/AP)

Details for the meeting still need to be worked out, according to the senior administration official, who was not authorised to comment publicly on the private talks between Mr Sullivan and Mr Yang.

Mr Xi has not left China amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic and is not expected to attend upcoming Group of 20 and Cop26 summits in Europe in person.

The official said the idea of a virtual meeting was proposed after Mr Biden — who spent a substantial amount of time with Mr Xi when the two were vice presidents — mentioned to the Chinese president last month during a phone call that he would like to be able to see him again.