Smiley greetings, garden walks and even a light-hearted look at the Chinese presidential car would have seemed impossible just a few months ago.
And while it doesn’t indicate any fundamental breakthrough, it is designed to show the world they are now, at least, making a concerted effort.
The fact is, both know a highly unstable relationship doesn’t serve them either economically or politically.
Xi in particular, who has had a tricky year domestically with a chaotic end to his zero COVID policy and a faltering economy, has an interest in showing his people he can manage this all-important relationship.
He also badly needs foreign investment to return to his country.
Indeed, Chinese state media has notably refrained from its usual full throated critiques this week and in a speech to business leaders Xi repeatedly referenced the friendship, sympathies and similarities the countries share, only briefly lingering on the usual warnings that the US should stay out of China’s affairs.
But while the agreements that were reached, on military to military talks and on the supply of fentanyl chemicals are significant, they were certainly the “easier” issues; the low-hanging fruit if you like.
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That distrust was perhaps perfectly encapsulated in the dying moments of Biden’s news conference when he was asked by a reporter if he still considered Xi to be a “dictator”.
“Look, he is… in the sense that he’s a guy who runs a country that is a communist country,” came the response.
It’s a term he used at a private event in June, much to the fury of Beijing, and it’s hard to see how the comment will not cast a cloud over progress that has been made.
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The Chinese response has thus far refrained from a direct criticism of Biden, more signs perhaps at just how much they wanted and needed that stabilisation.
But it’s as good an example as any that things remain precarious and could quite easily be again blown off course.