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International

Biden speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping for first time as President

11:30, Thursday, 11 February, 2021
Biden speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping for first time as President

President Joe Biden spoke with China's President Xi Jinping late Wednesday, according to a senior administration official, their first call since Biden took office.

The introductory call between the leaders of the world's two largest economies touched upon a range of issues against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the two countries.

Biden prioritized economic and military issues, and mentioned potential areas of cooperation, including climate change and nuclear proliferation, while calling China out on a range of issues related to its nefarious use of technology, unfair trade and human rights abuses, the senior official said.

A White House readout of the call released Wednesday evening said Biden "affirmed his priorities of protecting the American people's security, prosperity, health, and way of life, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific."

Biden, the readout added, "underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing's coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan."

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