The US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping had a telephonic conversation for the first time since Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Both leaders discussed various regional and international issues.
President Biden expressed concern about China’s economic ambitions, suppression of Hong Kong, human rights violations in Xinjiang, and the current situation in Taiwan.
At a time when U.S.-China relations are strained, today’s call is a result of many deliberations between the US and its allies in the region.
Before today’s conversation with President Xi Jinping, Biden had already held similar conversations with the leaders of Canada, Britain, France, Japan, South Korea, etc.
According to a report released by the White House, Biden also congratulated the Chinese people on the Chinese New Year.
President Biden reiterated that his top priority is to ensure the safety, prosperity, health of the American people, and to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
He also expressed his concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic actions, the suppression of Hong Kong, human rights violations in Xinjiang, and actions in regions including Taiwan.
Besides, Biden and Xi Jinping also exchanged views on common challenges such as the pandemic, global health and security, climate change, and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Biden also pledged to pursue pragmatic and result-oriented interactions while promoting the interests of the American people.
Earlier in an interview, President Biden had mentioned Xi Jinping as a ‘very smart’ and a ‘difficult-to-deal-with’ personality.
There seems to be no change in American stance with regards to China and its role in international politics. Most of the issues discussed were related to economic coercive actions and human rights violations.
The taxes on Chinese products levied by the Trump Administration will remain in place for the time being, in alignment with a global review of US trade strategy.
The phone call between the leaders of the two world powers revealed various things, including, how the Biden Administration would move after the review of the security strategy.
Biden had also held interactions with the Chinese leadership during his term as the Vice President in the Obama Administration.