Biden, China's Xi Have a 'Check-In' Phone Call

Two nations are trying to restore regular dialogue
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 2, 2024 1:14 PM CDT
Biden, China's Xi Have a 'Check-In' Phone Call
A file photo of President Biden and Chinese President President Xi Jinping at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, Calif., last year.   (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed Taiwan, artificial intelligence, and security issues Tuesday in a call meant to demonstrate a return to regular leader-to-leader dialogue between the two powers, per the AP. The call—the leaders' first conversation since their November summit in California—was seen as more of a "check-in" than a summit, a US official tells the New York Times. Details on what Biden emphasized, per the AP:

  • Taiwan: The two leaders discussed Taiwan ahead of next month's inauguration of Lai Ching-te, the island's president-elect, who has vowed to safeguard its de-facto independence from China and further align it with other democracies. Biden reaffirmed the United States' longstanding "One China" policy and reiterated that the US opposes any coercive means to bring Taiwan under Beijing's control. China considers Taiwan a domestic matter and has vigorously protested US support for the island.
  • South China Sea: Biden raised concerns about China's operations in the South China Sea, including efforts last month to impede the Philippines, which the US is treaty-obligated to defend, from resupplying its forces on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal.
  • Artificial intelligence: At the November summit, Biden and Xi agreed that their governments would hold formal talks on the promises and risks of advanced artificial intelligence, which are set to take place in the coming weeks. The pair touched on the issue Tuesday just two weeks after China and the US joined more than 120 other nations in backing a resolution at the UN calling for global safeguards around the emerging technology.
  • Narcotics: Biden pressed Xi to do more to meet China's commitments to halt the flow of illegal narcotics and to schedule additional precursor chemicals to prevent their export. The pledge was made at the leaders' summit held in Woodside, California, last year on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.
  • Election meddling: Biden reinforced warnings to Xi against interfering in the 2024 elections in the US as well as against continued malicious cyberattacks against critical American infrastructure.
  • Human rights: Biden raised concerns about human rights in China, including Hong Kong's new restrictive national security law and its treatment of minority groups, and he raised the plight of Americans detained in or barred from leaving China.
(More US-China relations stories.)

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