In first talk since November, Biden and Xi discuss Taiwan, TikTok and trade

In first talk since November, Biden and Xi discuss Taiwan, TikTok and trade FILE IMAGE. Presidents of the US and China, Joe Biden (left) and Xi Jinping. Photo: X/@POTUS

Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday (April 2) engaged in a significant phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking their first discussion since the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November in California.

Described by the White House as “candid and constructive,” the call comes at a crucial juncture, with tensions escalating in various global hotspots.

The conversation between the two leaders also occurred against a backdrop of heavy global turbulence, including ongoing conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine as well as concerns over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

Additionally, the Washington-Beijing relationship has been strained by issues such as Taiwan, China’s provocations in the South China Sea and human rights abuses.

During the call, Biden raised several key concerns, including the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and ensuring the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

He also expressed apprehensions over China’s support for Russia’s defence-industrial base, emphasising its potential impact on European and trans-Atlantic security.

Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and voiced ongoing concerns about China’s unfair trade policies and non-market economic practices, which he said adversely affect American workers and families.

He also addressed the issue of TikTok, clarifying to Xi that the United States’ interest lies not in banning the application but in ensuring divestiture to protect national security interests and the data security of the American people.

Amid these discussions, the leaders welcomed ongoing efforts to maintain open channels of communication and to responsibly manage the bilateral relationship through “high-level diplomacy and working-level consultations”.

This includes upcoming visits by US secretary of the treasury Janet Yellen and US secretary of state Antony Blinken.

The call also touched upon security and counter-narcotics trade, highlighting the multifaceted nature of the US-China relationship.-The Wire