The first phone call since the November meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping

US President Joe Biden had a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, the White House said. During the conversation, Biden reportedly expressed growing concern over Beijing's support for the Russian arms industry, destabilizing the situation in Taiwan, and the Chinese Navy's actions against Philippine vessels. The topic of TikTok also came up.

The conversation between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping during their November meeting in Woodside, near San Francisco, was a continuation of their conversation as part of “responsible management of the superpower rivalry,” as senior US administration officials stressed during a press conference Tuesday.

Biden also reportedly expressed concern about China's “support for Russia's war against Ukraine and efforts to help Russia rebuild its defense sector.”

“We are deeply concerned that these actions will affect the long-term security of Europe,” a White House official said.

Biden and Xi Jinping met last November LI XUEREN/XINHUA/EPA/PAP

He said Beijing initially responded “positively” to US warnings about Russia's support, but “over time the PRC began to help rebuild Russia's industrial base,” enabling the production of components that slowly increased Russia's capabilities in Ukraine. “

Presidents talked about TikTok

The presidents of the United States and China also discussed the TikTok app, the White House said. Biden is said to have voiced Americans' concerns about utility rights. In March, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would potentially ban TikTok's operations in the United States if its owner, Chinese company ByteDance, does not sell the platform to a company unaffiliated with PRC authorities. The bill will be considered by the US Senate before US President Joe Biden signs the document.

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National security concerns were cited. Biden has said he would sign such a bill if it came to his desk.

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Stable relationships that can descend into conflict

The conversation, which lasted an hour and 45 minutes, was about Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory. Taiwan's former vice president, Lai Tsing-te, whom Beijing views as a separatist, became president in January this year, and Beijing has stepped up pressure on the island ahead of his inauguration in May.

During the conversation, Biden will emphasize “the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,” the White House confirmed in a statement released after the conversation.

Xi responded that relations between China and the United States had begun to stabilize, but warned that they could “confront or fail in conflict,” Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

The US is also said to have warned Biden that by blocking the development of trade and technology in China and adding new companies to the sanctions list, the US is “not reducing risk, but creating risk”.

The Biden administration has banned the sale of certain technologies to Chinese companies, citing national security risks.

Fear of disruptive activities

Topics of Biden's conversation with Xi also included human rights abuses in Xinjiang province and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, according to a Reuters source.

The US president also reportedly expressed concern over China's “destabilizing actions” against Philippine ships and boats in the Second Thomas Bank area in the South China Sea.

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The talks also involved cooperation between the two countries on issues including Artificial intelligence, fight against drug trafficking and maintaining communication between forces of both powers.

After the November meeting, Biden told reporters that he had not changed his view of Xi as a dictator, which irked China, Reuters recalled.

US Treasury Secretary to visit China

Following talks between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, the US Treasury Department said Chinese Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will return to China this week to continue economic dialogue with top Chinese officials. . China.

The trip will run from April 3 to April 9 and will be Yellen's second personal visit to China. He visited Beijing in July 2023 to renew ties after years of strained relations between the countries.

Janet YellenShutterstock

Yellen will meet with her top representative, Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, Guangdong Governor Wang Weizong and executives from US companies in China. He will ask first-hand about the business climate challenges that are prompting U.S. companies to reduce investments in China.

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