United States' President, Joe Biden, and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, have had a ninety-minute phone conversation, ending the seven-month-long gap in direct communication between the two leaders.
The call was confirmed by the White House representative and China’s State Media. The call is said to have taken place early on Friday morning.
According to the White House rep, the call focused on how to take the US-China relationship forward; areas of mutual interests for the two nations; and areas where their interests, values, and perspectives diverged.
Biden initiated the call with Xi, the second one since he assumed office in January. The call comes at a crucial time for the two countries as they struggle with differences over the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights, and trade, but also share mutual concerns, such as climate change.
The Chinese media reported that the conversation was candid and in-depth, adding that President Xi said that the US policy on China imposes great difficulty in ensuring a relationship between the two countries.
The Chinese report further added that the two leaders have agreed to maintain frequent contact.
The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, warned US officials last week, of the deteriorating US-China relations and the impact they can have on China’s co-operation with Climate Change.
Wang told Kerry--Biden’s Climate Envoy, who visited Tianjin for climate talks with his Chinese counterpart-- that such cooperation can not be separated from border relationship and called on the US to take steps to improve their relationship, the Foreign Ministry reported.
A senior US official told the media that during the call, Biden’s message was that he and his administration want to ensure “that the dynamic remains competitive and there are no such situations in the future where they steer into unintended conflict.”