US official says Biden and Xi could meet in person | Health, medicine and fitness

By Chris Mejerian, Zeke Miller, and Elaine Knickler – Associated Press

A senior US administration official said after the two leaders spent more than two hours Thursday talking about the future of their complex relationship, with the tension clearing up. Taiwan It reappears as a flash point.

Biden made the phone call from the Oval Office, where he was joined by his top aides, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The official declined to be identified to speak about the private conversation.

When Biden was vice president, he spent many hours with Xi in the United States and China, an experience he often remembers as he talks about the two countries’ opportunities for conflict and cooperation. However, they have not met in person since Biden became president last year.

Xi left mainland China only once, To visit Hong KongSince the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has been Officially invited to Indonesia In November for the upcoming G20 summit of the world’s leading economies, making the conference a potential location for a meeting with Biden.

The latest pressure on Taiwan is the possible visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island, which has ruled itself for decades but China maintains as part of its territory.

Xi confirmed the allegations during his call with Biden, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“He who plays with fire will perish with it,” the ministry said. Hopefully, the US will be clear in his eyes about this. “

The White House released its own description of the conversation on Taiwan, saying that Biden “emphasized that US policy has not changed and that the United States firmly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

The White House said the goal of the call, which began at 8:33 a.m. EST and ended at 10:50 a.m. EDT, was to “manage our differences responsibly and work together where our interests align.”

As usual, China leaves no doubt that it blames the United States for the deterioration of relations between the two countries.

“President Xi stressed that dealing with and defining Sino-US relations in terms of strategic competition and viewing China as the primary competitor and that the most serious long-term challenge would be to misunderstand Sino-US relations and misread China’s development, and would mislead the people of the two countries and the international community, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

US analysts said that while Beijing’s warning not to play with fire over Taiwan drew attention on Thursday, it did not represent an escalation of Xi’s usual diplomatic rhetoric.

“There’s a whole lexicon of Chinese threat rhetoric that it hasn’t touched yet,” said John Colfer, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s China Hub.

Yun Sun, director of the China program at the Stimson Research Center, noted that both countries said the conversation covered a wide range of topics, from the epidemic to climate change. She described it as “more positive than the two leaders telling each other, well, we’ll stick to our positions on Taiwan.”

She also suggested that Xi might have an incentive to calm tensions as he seeks to obtain Third term as president.

“They cannot afford to rupture the relationship with the United States,” she said.

The call with Xi took place as Biden aims to find new ways to work with China and contain its influence around the world. Differing views on global health, economic policy and human rights have long tested the relationship — with China refusing to condemn it Russian invasion of Ukraine Add more pressure.

Pelosi Possible visit to Taiwan Create another pressure point. Beijing said it would view such a trip as a provocation, a threat US officials are taking increasingly seriously in light of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

“If the United States insists on going its own way and challenging China’s net profit, it will certainly be met with strong responses,” Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters earlier this week. “All consequences of this will be borne by the United States.”

Pelosi will be the highest-ranking elected US official to travel to Taiwan since then Republican Newt Gingrich visited the island in 1997 When he was Speaker of Parliament. Biden told reporters last week that US military officials believe the spokesman’s visit to the island “is not a good idea” at the moment.

John Kirby, a US national security spokesman, said Wednesday that it is important for Biden and Xi to touch the base regularly.

“The president wants to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi remain open because they need to,” Kirby told reporters at a White House briefing. “There are issues on which we can cooperate with China, and there are issues that there are obviously frictions and tensions.”

Biden and Xi last spoke in March, Soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“This is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world today, and it has ramifications that go beyond both individual countries,” Kirby said.

Biden moved to shift US dependence on Chinese manufacturing, including Final congressional approval Thursday Legislation to encourage semiconductor companies to build more high-tech factories in the United States

He also wants to mobilize global democracies to support infrastructure investment in low- and middle-income countries as an alternative to China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, which aims to boost China’s trade with other global markets.

Biden has kept Trump-era tariffs on many goods manufactured in China in order to maintain influence over Beijing. But he is considering whether at least some of them should be loosened to reduce the impact of high inflation on American households.

US officials have also criticized China’s “COVID-free” policy of mass testing and lockdowns in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in its territory, calling it misleading and worrying that it will further slow global economic growth.

Other points of tension include China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims, which the United States has declared a genocide, the militarization of the South China Sea, and its global campaign of economic and political espionage.

Associated Press writers Ken Moritsugu and Joe MacDonald contributed from Beijing.

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