In phone call, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping speak for first time in seven months

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping ended a seven-month gap in direct communication with a phone conversation in the backdrop of hectic developments in Afghanistan where the Taliban group recently came to power and announced an interim government
A file photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shaking hands with then US Vice-President Joe Biden inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2013. (REUTERS/File)
A file photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shaking hands with then US Vice-President Joe Biden inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2013. (REUTERS/File)
Published on Sep 10, 2021 09:25 AM IST
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By Sutirtho Patranobis

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday morning held a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden, ending a seven-month gap in direct communication between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday morning held a phone conversation with his US counterpart, Joseph R. Biden,” China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said in a short statement.

“The two leaders held candid, in-depth and broad strategic communication and exchanges on bilateral relations and relevant issues of shared interest,” the Xinhua report added.

The White House, too, issued a statement confirming the Biden-Xi phone call, saying that the two leaders had “a broad, strategic discussion” intended to manage the increasing rivalry between Beijing and Washington.

The call between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping has taken place in the backdrop of rapid developments in Afghanistan where the Taliban group swept to power in mid-August. Earlier this week, the Taliban announced the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan.

The White House said that Joe Biden made it clear the discussion was “part of the United States’ ongoing effort to responsibly manage the competition” between the two countries.

“President Biden underscored the United States’ enduring interest in peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world and the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,” the White House statement said.

Since the Taliban group recaptured Kabul last month, Xi Jinping’s China has called on the global community to seek to guide the country’s new rulers, while Joe Biden’s US, which pulled all its troops out of Afghanistan on August 30, has raised concerns about the composition of the interim cabinet in Kabul.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021