11 July 2024

(AFP) – US President Joe Biden said Sunday that the Democrats’ unexpected midterm election successes sent him into crunch talks with China’s Xi Jinping in a stronger position.

Biden’s party retained control of the US Senate as Catherine Cortez Masto won a key race in Nevada, giving Democrats the 50 seats they needed for an effective majority.

The result adds to the party’s remarkable success in midterm elections that traditionally deliver a rejection of the party in power.

“I feel good and I’m looking forward to the next couple years,” Biden said in Phnom Penh on the eve of his meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia.

“I know I’m coming in stronger,” Biden told reporters.

“I know Xi Jinping, he knows me,” he added, saying they have always had “straightforward discussions”.

The two men have known each for more than a decade, since when Biden was vice-president, 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,” Biden said.

Biden called Masto to congratulate her, and also spoke with Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate majority leader, the White House said.

The US president said the focus now turns to Georgia, where a Senate seat race will go to a run-off election next month.