US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed, during a phone call, Thursday, to organize their first in attendance summit since Biden took office, a US official told reporters.
The official, who asked not to be named, said that the two leaders “discussed the importance of holding a meeting in attendance and agreed that their agencies would follow up on the issue to find the appropriate time for both parties to do so.”
He pointed out that the two presidents did not touch on the issue of amending US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, quoting AFP.
On Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his US counterpart, Biden, that “those who play with fire will be burned,” stressing the need for Washington to adhere to the “one China” principle on Taiwan. Changing, as he was informed by Washington’s opposition to any forcible change of the situation in Taiwan.
US President Biden and his Chinese counterpart held a virtual meeting, Thursday, that lasted two hours and 17 minutes, according to what the White House announced.
A White House spokesman said earlier, “President Biden spoke with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping at 8:30 this morning. This is the fifth contact between the two leaders since President Biden took office.”
According to the White House, Biden’s main goal in communication is to establish “guarantees” for the two superpowers in order to avoid open conflict despite their differences and geopolitical rivalry.
The White House confirmed that a statement would be issued after the conversation ended.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said before the call that Biden “want to make sure the lines of communication are open with President Xi on all issues, whether it’s issues we agree on or we have great difficulty about, and that they can still phone calmly.” .
Asked if Biden would raise some of the 25% import duties his predecessor Donald Trump imposed on billions of dollars in Chinese products, Kirby said he had not made a decision yet.
“We consider his predecessor’s tariffs to be bad. We see that they have increased costs for American families and small businesses as well as farm owners,” Kirby added, also referring to “some harmful Chinese trade practices.”
He continued, “I have no decision from the president to announce regarding fees. He is seeking to settle this issue.”
In addition to the reciprocal punitive tariffs between the two sides, relations between Washington and Beijing have recently been strained against the backdrop of a possible visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
A possible visit, which has not yet been confirmed, has angered China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory.
China warned on Wednesday that Washington would “bear the consequences” if US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, as tensions escalate between the two countries.
“If the United States goes ahead with a visit to Taiwan, the American side will bear all the consequences of that,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a regular press conference, as Beijing considers Taiwan an inalienable part of China, according to AFP.
He also added, “We are firmly opposed to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.”
It is noteworthy that Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion from China, as it considers the autonomous island part of its territory and will annex it by force if necessary.