Biden calls Xi as U.S.-China relationship grows more fraught

Biden calls Xi as U.S.-China relationship grows more fraught

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with China’s Xi Jinping on Thursday amid growing frustration on the U.S. side that high-level engagement between the two leaders’ top advisers has been largely unfruitful in the early going of the Biden presidency.

Biden initiated the call with Xi, the second between the two leaders since Biden took office. It comes at a moment when there is no shortage of thorny issues between the two nations, including cybersecurity breaches originating from China, Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and what the White House has labeled as “coercive and unfair” trade practices by the Chinese.

Xi in the call appeared to echo some of the complaints, telling Biden that U.S. government policy toward China caused “serious difficulties” in relations.

“This is not in the basic interests of the two peoples,” the Chinese leader said.

“Chinese-U.S. confrontation will bring disaster to both countries and the world,” Xi added.

Xi said the two sides should cooperate on climate change, epidemic prevention, economic recovery and other issues, Xinhua reported.

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