Today: Monday, 1 March 2021 year

Biden, Xi hold phone call amid tensions

Biden, Xi hold phone call amid tensions

Joe Biden, new US President has greeted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during the first phone call since Biden took office, Reuters has learned.

The phone call became the first conversation between Xi and Biden. The Chinese leader spoke with ex-President Donald Trump in March last year. Since then, the US-Chinese relations have plunged to their worst level in decades, with Washington blaming Beijing for the covid-19 pandemic.

During the phone conversation, the US President Joe Biden stressed a free and open Indo-Pacific was a priority and Xi warning confrontation would be a ‘disaster’ for both nations.

Xi congratulated Biden on his election in a message in November, even though Biden had called him a “thug” during the campaign and vowed to lead an international effort to “pressure, isolate and punish China.”

Commenting on the latest developments, Chine’s President told Biden that confrontation would be a “disaster” and the two sides should re-establish the means to avoid misjudgments.

Mr Xi also maintained a hardline tone regarding Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, which Xi told Biden were matters of “sovereignty and territorial integrity” that he hopes the United States will approach cautiously.