Biden-Xi interview amid tensions over Taiwan and trade

Biden-Xi interview amid tensions over Taiwan and trade

Tensions between China and the United States, engaged in a struggle for influence, continue to escalate around Taiwan.

US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping discussed by telephone for more than two hours on Thursday the growing tensions between their two countries, in particular regarding Taiwan and of their trade disputes.

The conversation between President Biden and President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China ended at 10:50 a.m., the White House said in a statement. The phone call had started 2 hours and 17 minutes earlier.

This is the fifth virtual summit between the two officials since Mr. Biden became president. a year and a half ago, but the mutual distrust between China and the United States is becoming increasingly difficult to hide.

Beijing and Washington are already at odds over trade. The two world powers are now at odds over Taiwan.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said before the x27;call that tensions around China's aggressive and coercive behavior in the Indo-Pacific would be on the agenda.

Latest cause for friction: a possible trip by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

China believes that the island is the ;one of its historical provinces which it has not yet managed to reunify with the rest of the country.

Opposed to any initiative that would give the Taiwanese authorities legitimacy international, it is headwind against any official contact between Taiwan and other states.

Although US officials visit Taiwan frequently, Beijing considers a trip by Ms. Pelosi, one of the most senior figures in the US state, to be a major provocation.

< p class="e-p">Washington will have to “bear all the consequences” of the potential visit, which Pelosi has yet to confirm, Beijing warned on Wednesday.

General Mark Milley, the US Chief of Staff, told the press that if Nancy Pelosi requested military support, then he would do what was necessary to ensure the safe conduct of his affairs.

Tensions around this trip are only part of the problem. US officials fear President Xi is considering the use of force to impose control on Taiwan.

Once considered unlikely, an invasion or other form of military action is increasingly seen by observers as possible.

Joe Biden's Contradictory Statements on Taiwan – he said in May that the United States would defend the island, before the White House insisted that the policy of strategic ambiguity had not changed – did #x27;didn't help.

Although the US President prides himself on a close relationship with Mr. Xi, the two men have yet to see each other in person since he took office, largely due to restrictions related to COVID.

According to the White House, Mr. Biden's main objective was to establish safeguards for the two superpowers, in order to avoid a open conflict despite their differences and geopolitical rivalry.

Mr. Biden wanted to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi were open on all issues, whether they were issues on which we agree or questions about which we have significant difficulties, that they can always pick up the phone and talk to each other frankly, said Mr. Kirby.

Asked about Mr. Biden's possible lifting of some of the 25% tariffs imposed on billions of dollars of Chinese goods by former President Donald Trump, the spokesperson said that a decision had still not been made.

We believe […] that the customs tariffs put in place by his predecessor were poorly designed. We believe they have increased costs for American families and small businesses, as well as ranchers, he said, also citing China's harmful trade practices.

But I have no decision to announce regarding tariffs from the President. He is working on it, concluded John Kirby.

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