Xi and Biden hold first phone call since November

03-04-2024 10:07 AM

Ammon News - President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, marking the first conversation between the leaders since their historic in-person summit in November and the latest in ongoing efforts by US and Chinese officials to defuse tensions between the two superpowers.

The call comes amid heavy global turbulence – the ongoing wars in Gaza and Ukraine, as well as North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, were topics of discussion. Other issues that have strained the Washington-Beijing relationship also came up, including Taiwan, China’s recent provocations in the South China Sea and Beijing’s human rights abuses.

The two leaders also discussed a number of issues where US and Chinese officials see room for cooperation, including countering narcotics, the fast-developing world of artificial intelligence and climate change, according to a White House readout.

The White House described the one-hour-45-minute conversation as “candid and constructive” on a range of issues on which the leaders agreed and disagreed. Biden stressed the need to maintain “peace and stability” across the Taiwan Strait and he also raised his concerns over China’s support for Russia’s defense industry, the White House added.

China’s Foreign Ministry also said the two leaders had a “candid and in-depth exchange.” In the call, Xi characterized US-China relations as “beginning to stabilize,” but he warned that “negative factors” had been growing and required “attention from both sides,” a ministry readout said.

Biden noted his worries about China’s trade tactics that the White House said harm American workers and emphasized that the US will do what it must to prevent “advanced US technologies from being used to undermine our national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment.”

“The two leaders welcomed ongoing efforts to maintain open channels of communication and responsibly manage the relationship through high-level diplomacy and working-level consultations in the weeks and months ahead,” the readout stated, noting Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China.

Xi, for his part, called for the two sides to value peace, prioritize stability and honor their commitments to each other – an apparent reference to Chinese officials’ concerns about American tech and trade restrictions on China that they see as at odds with Washington’s assurances that it does not want to decouple the two nations’ economies.

On Taiwan, which is a key point of friction between the two countries, Xi called the issue the “first red line” in the relationship and urged the US to act in accordance “with President Biden’s commitment of not supporting ‘Taiwan independence,’” the readout said.


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