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

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

China Martyrs Day
Chinese President Xi Jinping (Andy Wong / AP)

Details of the meeting have yet to be worked out, according to the senior administration official, who has not been permitted to comment publicly on the private talks between Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Yang.

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

The official said the idea for a virtual meeting was proposed after Mr. Biden – who spent a lot of time with Mr. Xi when they were vice presidents – mentioned to the Chinese president last month at the meeting. ‘a phone call that he wishes he could see again.