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Biden, Xi Discuss Military Communication, Climate In First Telephone Call Since November Meeting

02.04.2024 19:42

Call comes ahead of diplomatic engagements between high level officials from both nations.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first telephone call Tuesday since meeting face-to-face in November and discussed hotkey issues, including military-to-military communications and climate change, according to the White House.

The leaders also discussed Taiwan, bilateral trade, AI risks, counternarcotics and people-to-people exchange.

Biden "emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea."

"He raised concerns over the PRC's support for Russia's defense industrial base and its impact on European and transatlantic security, and he emphasized the United States' enduring commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the White House said in a statement, using an acronym to refer to China.

"President Biden also raised continued concerns about the PRC's unfair trade policies and non-market economic practices, which harm American workers and families. The President emphasized that the United States will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment," it added.

The call comes ahead of a flurry of diplomatic engagements with high-ranking officials from both nations, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's visit Thursday to China and Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit in the upcoming weeks.

The top defense officials from both nations are expected to soon have a telephone call, and Chinese officials are also expected soon to visit the US, a senior American administration official told reporters ahead of Biden's call with Xi.

Biden has sought to re-establish high-level contacts between Washington and Beijing following a major row sparked by the February 2023 downing of an aircraft after it had transited the US that the Biden administration said was a Chinese spy balloon. China maintains that it was an errant weather balloon that was blown off course.

Regardless, the downing of the aircraft brought US-Sino relations to a marked low, and efforts have been focused for more than one year to restore ties.

The official who spoke to reporters Tuesday said the US and China "recognize the value in more regular touch points between the leaders," referring to Biden and Xi.

"We're doing that now via calls. I would anticipate, you know, depending what happens in the coming year, we would hope there would be a chance for another in-person meeting, but don't have anything even to speculate on when that might be. But certainly, value in that in-person meeting and the calls in the interim," said the official. -



 
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