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Biden and Xi hold first phone call in seven months

US President Joe Biden and Chinese president and party chief Xi Jinping have spoken by phone for the first time in seven months.

Washington, 10 September 2021 (dpa/MIA) – US President Joe Biden and Chinese president and party chief Xi Jinping have spoken by phone for the first time in seven months.

The White House called the conversation a “broad, strategic discussion” and said both presidents talked about “areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge.”

Biden and Xi agreed to engage on both sets of issues “openly and straightforwardly,” according to the statement late Thursday.

Biden made clear to his Chinese counterpart that the US would continue efforts to “responsibly manage the competition” between Beijing and Washington.

Biden emphasized the US interest in peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and worldwide.

“The two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict.”

It marked the second phone call between the two presidents since Biden took office in January.

A trade war with tariffs from both sides started under Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.

There is also ongoing tension over human rights, the suppression of the democratic opposition in Hong Kong, China’s handling of Muslim minority Uighurs in north-west China, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and the Chinese threats against Taiwan.

The relationship has hit its lowest point since diplomatic relations were taken up in 1979, and Biden appears set to continue Trump’s hard line against Beijing.

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