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Joe Biden shook hands with Xi Jinping that day in 2011 and the two vice presidents walked up a red carpet to the strains of their countries’ national anthems, until Biden paused unexpectedly before a Chinese official with a full head of hair. “If I had hair like yours, I’d be president,” he cracked, breaking the atmosphere of stately diplomacy.
Later in the whirlwind trip, Biden made a more serious point: “President Obama and I want to see a rising China. We don’t fear a rising China.”
More than a decade later, the two men are slated to meet again after Biden arrives Sunday night in Bali, their first face-to-face meeting since Biden became president and Xi consolidated his position as the strongest Chinese leader in recent memory.
Biden certainly has not acquired the thick mane of the Chinese diplomat. His administration now very much does fear a rising China. And U.S. officials are hoping that — somehow — the personal connection the two…
This article was written by Matt Viser and originally published on www.washingtonpost.com