Biden Talks to Xi About Conflicts, From Ukraine to the Pacific

President Biden spoke with Xi Jinping, China’s leader, in a call on Tuesday morning that was aimed at addressing a wide range of combative and cooperative issues, as the United States grapples with wars and other global crises, the White House said.

The topics on Mr. Biden’s agenda included fighting narcotics production, the Middle East conflict and China’s support of Russia during the Ukraine war, a senior administration official said.

Mr. Biden intended the talk to be a “check-in” rather than a summit with concrete outcomes, said the official, who spoke to a small group of reporters on Monday night on the condition of anonymity, as is customary for such Washington briefings. But it was a crucial marker during a pivotal political year and as the countries try to steady a relationship that hit a multi-decade low last year.

The call took place days ahead of a trip to China by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, who will be followed soon afterward by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, the official said. Those would be the first visits to China by cabinet members this year; both officials traveled to Beijing last year to stabilize relations after tempers flared during the Chinese spy balloon episode.

Since last summer, Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi have sought to prevent any eruptions between their nations. Mr. Biden is seeking to focus on his tight race for re-election this year. Mr. Xi is grappling with a range of domestic issues, including a troubled economy and corruption in the top ranks of his military.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi held a face-to-face summit in November at a lush estate in Woodside, outside San Francisco. The two also met in November 2022 in Bali, Indonesia — their first in-person summit as national leaders — and had their last call in July 2022.

Back to top button