Biden has first telephone conversation with Xi Jinping

US President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the White House said.

This is Biden’s first direct contact with the leader of the world’s second largest economy since winning the election in November and taking office in January.

It was also the first dialogue between Xi Jinping and the US president since the Chinese leader spoke with President Donald Trump last March. After that, relations between the two countries dropped to their lowest level in several decades.

The White House said in a statement that Biden “highlighted fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unjust economic practices, the Hong Kong repression, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly aggressive actions in the region, including against Taiwan.”

Biden and Xi Jinping “exchanged views on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and common challenges in global health, climate change and weapons proliferation prevention,” the report said.

The US President also told the PRC President that the US wants to preserve “a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

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