Biden Holds Conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Biden Holds Conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping

The two leaders last met in November 2023 in California.

Officials downplayed expectations ahead of Tuesday’s call, describing it as a “check in” amid the administration’s efforts to “maintain regular open lines of communication to responsibly manage competition and prevent unintended consequences.”

Though the call between Biden and Xi Jinping lasted 105 minutes, an administration official told ABC News, longer than previous phone conversations between the two leaders.

When Biden and Xi met in Woodside outside San Francisco last year, both men agreed to keep talking as they face global challenges. Their phone conversation on Tuesday, a senior administration official said, was about “finding a chance for the two leaders to talk through the tough issues.”

The White House called the conversation “candid and constructive.”

“They reviewed and encouraged progress on key issues discussed at the Woodside Summit, including counternarcotics cooperation, ongoing military-to-military communication, talks to address AI-related risks, and continuing efforts on climate change and people-to-people exchanges,” according to a readout of the phone call.

Biden also emphasized “the importance of maintaining peace and stability” in Taiwan and raised concerns about China’s support for Russia’s military defense.

On the domestic front, according to the White House, Biden talked with Xi about trade policies and other economic practices that “harm American workers and families.”

It was also announced Tuesday that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to China on Wednesday for a week of bilateral meetings and other engagements. Her trip will focus on pressuring her Chinese counterparts on those trade practices as well as expanding cooperation between the U.S. and China against illicit finance and progressing work on shared priorities like financial stability and addressing climate change, according to a senior Treasury official.

“The two leaders welcomed ongoing efforts to maintain open channels of communication and responsibly manage the relationship through high-level diplomacy and working-level consultations in the weeks and months ahead, including during upcoming visits by Secretary Yellen and Secretary Blinken,” the White House said.

China has economic reasons to engage more with the U.S. as it’s economy is in a downturn and Xi wants to restore confidence in its market and attract more foreign investment. Just last week, the Chinese president met with a delegation of American CEOs in Beijing.

The readouts of Tuesday’s call from both countries underscored the litany of areas where the two leaders still fundamentally disagree. Beijing believes that Biden’s policies are “suppressing” China and its economy.

One of Xi’s biggest concerns is around U.S. exports of advanced chips. Notably, the Chinese readout accuses the U.S. of “suppressing China’s high-tech development” and threatens that “we will not stand idly by” if the U.S. continues to do so.

The Biden administration has described its economic restrictions on China as a “small yard, high fence” strategy. That means they place strict curbs on a few areas that have important military applications, while keeping regular economic relations in other areas.

ABC News’ Alexandra Hutzler contributed to this report.

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