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Biden and Xi Hold Phone Conversation, Gaps Remain Firm

Wednesday 3 April 2024
Biden and Xi Hold Phone Conversation, Gaps Remain Firm

Alwaght- The presidents of the US and China have held a phone conversation discussing the rising tensions and the partnership between the two powers, with the gaps remaining the defining feature of their relations. 

They reportedly discussed a range of issues, but the case of Taiwan remained an overshadowing matter in their conversation.

They discussed avenues of co-operation, including recent shared efforts to combat climate change and narcotics, according to summaries of the call.

Biden stressed support for Taiwan, but Mr Xi called the US interference in the South China Sea a "red line", according to the BBC.

This is their first conversation since November.

The leaders last spoke on the sidelines of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in California in November, with both sides hailing progress while remaining at loggerheads over issues like Taiwan and technology development.

Xi, meanwhile, told Biden that the two countries should adopt a baseline principle of “no clash, no confrontation” for the year, according to state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

“We should prioritise stability, not provoke troubles, not cross lines but maintain the overall stability of China-US relations,” Xi said, according to the broadcaster.

The talks come after months of heightened tension. The US military, for instance, has highlighted “near-miss” incidents, where ships in the Taiwan Strait nearly collided and fighter jets have come dangerously close to one another. 

They also discussed high-tech, AI, and the US sanctions on the Chinese companies.

Xi complained that the US has taken more measures to suppress China’s economy, trade and technology in the past several months and that the list of sanctioned Chinese companies has become ever longer. 

The conversation took place as Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are to visit China in the upcoming days.

During four days of meetings in Guangzhou and Beijing, Yellen plans to meet with representatives from American companies, Chinese students and professors, and China’s top economic officials. The trip comes as the Biden administration tries to balance a tougher stance toward China, including restricting access to American technology and retaining tariffs on billions of Chinese exports, while keeping regular lines of communication open and avoiding an economic war, according to New York Times.

Ahead of her trip to China, Yellen last week said that Beijing is flooding the market with green energy that “distorts global prices.” She said she intends to share her beliefs with her counterparts that Beijing’s increased production of solar energy, electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries poses risks to productivity and growth to the global economy. 

Blinken is also set to discuss with the Chinese officials the tensions between the two countries as well as China's support to Russia as Moscow is obviously winning more land and fronts against the Western-backed Kiev, according to reports.

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Biden Xi Tensions Taiwan Ukraine Technology

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