Biden and Xi discuss US-China bilateral ties during phone call – The Times of India

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NEW DELHI: US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping engaged in crucial talks, marking their first direct communication since their November meeting last year.
The discussion aimed at easing tensions ahead of Taiwan’s upcoming presidential inauguration in May.
During the call, Biden stressed the significance of upholding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and ensuring the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, as highlighted by the White House statement.
Xi acknowledged that relations between China and the US are showing signs of stabilization but cautioned about the potential of sliding into conflict or confrontation, as reported by Xinhua news agency.
He expressed concerns to Biden that the US actions, particularly in terms of restricting China’s trade and technology advancements and adding entities to the sanctions list, were increasing risks rather than reducing them.
Biden reiterated the US’s commitment to safeguarding advanced technologies from being misused while maintaining trade and investment opportunities. The call, lasting for one hour and 45 minutes, also saw both leaders agreeing to reopen military communications and collaborate in combating fentanyl production, following their November consensus.
The discussion touched upon various contentious issues, including China’s support for Russia in the Ukraine conflict, economic trade practices, human rights violations in Xinjiang, and denuclearization efforts in the Korean peninsula. Biden also raised concerns about escalating tensions in the South China Sea, where China’s actions have been deemed destabilizing, especially against Philippine maritime operations.
Both leaders sought to build on recent improvements in relations, which had deteriorated after a U.S. fighter jet downed a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon last year. Efforts to re-establish communication channels have been underway, with Biden and Xi emphasizing the importance of maintaining open lines of communication and managing their relationship through diplomacy and consultations.
The White House noted ongoing efforts to ensure responsible handling of the relationship, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meeting U.S. officials in January and February, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen scheduled to visit China in April. Discussions between Biden and Xi also explored areas of mutual interest, such as counternarcotics efforts, AI safety concerns, military communication resumption, and climate change initiatives.
As both nations navigate complex issues, the importance of dialogue and cooperation remains paramount in addressing shared challenges and preventing further escalations in tensions. The leaders’ commitment to managing competition, avoiding conflicts, and finding common ground highlights the ongoing efforts to foster stability and cooperation in the U.S.-China relationship.
(With inputs from agencies)

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