Biden speaks with Xi on Taiwan and AI in first discussion since November

US president Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a “candid and constructive discussion” on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including areas of cooperation and areas of difference, the White House said on Tuesday, 2 April.

This is the first phone conversation between the two leaders after their summit meeting at Woodside in California last November and lasted for 105 minutes during which they discussed about their areas of cooperation and differences.

The call builds on previous meetings between US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and the Communist Party of China, Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs Commission and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bangkok on 27 January and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with Wang in Munich in February this year.

Notably, the last phone call between the two leaders was in July 2022. The call highlights the importance of intense diplomacy to manage tensions and prevent unintended conflict, a senior administration official told reporters.

“President Biden spoke by phone today with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China. Purpose of the call was to build on the two leaders meeting in Woodside, California back in November of last year. Over the course of about an hour and 45 minutes, the two leaders held a candid and constructive discussion on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including areas of cooperation and areas of differences,” White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby told reporters during a press conference.

He said that the two leaders encouraged continued progress on issues discussed at the Woodside Summit, including counter narcotics cooperation, ongoing military to military communications, talks to address artificial intelligence related risks, and continuing efforts on climate change and people to people exchanges, Kirby said.

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