United States’ President, Joe Biden on Thursday held a 90 minutes talk on phone with Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for the first time in nearly seven months since leaders of the world’s two biggest economies had any direct communication.
According to the statements from both sides, Biden and Xi had a long smooth conversation on areas of interest where U.S and China converge and diverge and discussing the need to ensure that the competition between both countries does not veer into conflict.
For years now, China has been a major rivalry of the US on the world politics stage.
Relations got worse off during the ending years of Donald Trump’s administration. It spilled into the new administration that got inaugurated January this year. Since taking over office, Biden had made it abundantly clear about U.S stance to counter China and China vice-versa.
Occasional high-level meetings since Xi and Biden’s first call in February have yielded scant progress on issues ranging from human rights to transparency over the origins of COVID-19.
However, Biden initiated the call with Xi as they both grapple with with growing differences over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, human rights and trade but share issues of mutual concern, including climate change.
The U.S. side said the “proof will be in the pudding” as to whether the stalemate can be broken with ties between the superpowers languishing at their lowest point in decades.
“President Biden underscored the United States’ enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world and the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,” the White House added.
Whereas, Chinese state media said Xi had told Biden that U.S. policy on China imposed “serious difficulties” on relations, but added that both sides agreed to maintain frequent contact and ask working-level teams to step up communications.
“China and the United States should … show strategic courage and insight, and political boldness, and push Sino-U.S. relations back to the right track of stable development as soon as possible,” Xi was quoted saying.
The Chinese President added that if “core concerns” on both sides were respected, diplomatic breakthroughs could still be made in the area of climate change, adding that the issue could add “positive factors” to the relationship.