Relations between China and the United States are at an all-time low. But now US President Joe Biden and Chinese party leader Xi Jinping have spoken over the phone.
Beijing / Washington (dpa) – For the first time in seven months, US President Joe Biden and Chinese head of state and party leader Xi Jinping have spoken on the phone again.
Against the backdrop of tensions between the great rival powers, the White House evoked a “broad and strategic discussion”. The two presidents spoke of “areas where our interests collide and areas where our interests, values and perspectives diverge”. Biden and Xi had agreed to “tackle both catalogs of problems openly and directly.”
It was also said that the US president made it clear to his Chinese colleague that the United States will continue to strive to “responsibly manage competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.” Biden underscored the United States’ interest in peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world. “The two leaders discussed the responsibility of the two countries to ensure that competition does not turn into conflict.”
It was only the second phone conversation between the two presidents since Biden took office in January. Since the days of his predecessor Donald Trump, the two largest economies have been waging a trade war with mutual punitive tariffs. There are also differences over respect for human rights, the crackdown on democratic opposition in Hong Kong, how to deal with the Uyghur Muslim minority in northwest China, China’s territorial claims in South China Sea and Chinese threats against democratic Taiwan.
The relationship has fallen to its lowest point since diplomatic ties began in 1979, while Biden appears to be continuing his predecessor’s Trump’s hard line on China.