US President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday (10), the White House said. The contact was the first established between the leaders of the two powers since the Democrat took office on January 20.
It was also the first time Xi had spoken to a U.S. official since March last year – after that, tensions between the two countries increased.
Biden “underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, the repression in Hong Kong, human rights violations in Xinjiang and the increasingly assertive actions in the region, including regarding concerns Taiwan, “the White House said in a statement. .
In response, according to Chinese state television, Xi said he expects the United States to handle these issues cautiously and should handle disputes constructively.
The Americans and the Chinese “exchanged views on the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and the common challenges of global health security, climate change and preventing the proliferation of weapons,” the text reads. The US president also said the country wanted to preserve a free Indo-Pacific.
Restoring dialogue between the two countries was one of the intentions Xi expounded to the American, stressing that cooperation is the only right choice. The Chinese have also said that a clash between the powers would be a disaster for both.
Outside of the conversation, however, Biden sent signals of military readiness to Beijing. The strongest movement has been the creation of a task force at the Pentagon for China, with the mission of making a report in four months assessing the risks that Beijing brings to Washington.
Other actions were more conventional. This Tuesday (9), the US Navy began a rare exercise with two groups of aircraft carriers in the South China Sea. Beijing considers its 85% of the region, which concentrates its vital maritime trade routes.