According to the Axios portal, the U.S. president wanted to hold a “broad and strategic discussion” with the Chinese president on preventing an uncontrolled increase in tension in relations between the two countries.
U.S. President Joe Biden initiated a new telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping to explore the possibility of building effective interaction between Washington and Beijing at the level of heads of state. This was reported on Friday by the Axios information portal.
Referring to an unnamed high-ranking representative of the U.S. administration, he clarified that the American leader did not achieve any “concrete results or agreements” due to the conversation with his Chinese counterpart on Thursday.
The source told Axios that Joe Biden wanted to hold a “broad and strategic discussion” with Xi Jinping on how to prevent an uncontrolled increase in tension in U.S.-China relations. According to the information presented by him, the head of the administration sought to find out whether the U.S.-Chinese interaction “at the level of leaders would be more effective” than contacts between officials of the two countries holding less high government posts. “The interaction at the levels below was not very productive. And, frankly speaking, we [American officials] are not too satisfied with the behavior of our [Chinese] interlocutors,” the representative of the Washington administration said. Axios explains that the conversation with this source took place shortly before the conversation between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.
Already at the end of the conversation between the two leaders, either the same high-ranking representative of the U.S. executive branch or his colleague told Axios that the call lasted about an hour and a half. He described the tone of the conversation as respectful and frank. The publication says that the parties exchanged views, including on Joe Biden’s complaint that Chinese officials are “playing for the press” and are not conducting serious negotiations with the Americans. In addition, it is noted that the head of the White House assured that Washington does not seek to “undermine Beijing [in some] specific ways,” that the U.S. policy does not consist in this.
Axios adds that Biden is expected to announce soon a decision on customs duties that were imposed on some categories of goods supplied to the United States from China by the previous American President, Donald Trump. Joe Biden and Xi Jinping discussed economic issues during the conversation. Still, the portal writes that the Chinese leader did not address the head of the U.S. administration with specific requests for these duties.
The current conversation between the two leaders was the second in a row. Their previous conversation took place in February.