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Joe Biden and Xi Jinping's first phone call since their November meeting

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US President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Tuesday, the White House said. During the conversation, Biden reportedly expressed growing concern about Beijing's support for the Russian arms industry, the destabilization of the situation in Taiwan and the actions of the Chinese fleet against Philippine ships.

As senior US administration officials emphasized during Tuesday's press briefing, the conversation between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping was a continuation of their dialogue during November meeting in Woodside near San Francisco as part of the “responsible management of rivalry” between superpowers.

Biden also reportedly expressed concern about China's “support for Russia's war against Ukraine and efforts to help Russia rebuild its defense industry.”

“We are increasingly concerned that these actions will impact Europe's long-term security,” a White House official said.

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Biden and Xi Jinping met last November LI XUEREN/XINHUA/EPA/PAP

She said that initially Beijing responded “positively” to U.S. warnings about Russia's support, but “over time we really saw that the PRC began to help Russia rebuild its industrial base,” enabling the production of components “that slowly increased Russia's capabilities in Ukraine.”

Stable relations that can descend into conflict

The conversation, which lasted one hour and 45 minutes, was also supposed to concern Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory. Taiwan's former vice president Lai Ching-te, whom Beijing considers a separatist, became president in January this year, and Beijing has increased pressure on the island ahead of his inauguration in May.

During the conversation, Biden was to emphasize “the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,” the White House confirmed in a statement issued after the conversation.

Xi replied that relations between China and the United States were beginning to stabilize, but warned that they could “lapse into conflict or confrontation,” Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

Xi also allegedly warned Biden that the United States “is not reducing risk, but creating risk” by inhibiting the development of trade and technology in China and adding new entities to the sanctions list.

The Biden administration has imposed bans on the sale of certain technologies to Chinese companies, citing national security risks.

Fears of destabilizing actions

The topic of Biden's conversation with Jinping, according to a Reuters source, also included human rights violations in Xinjiang province as well as the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The US president also reportedly expressed concerns about China's “destabilizing actions” against Philippine ships and boats in the area of ​​the Second Thomas Bank in the South China Sea.

The talks also concerned cooperation between the two countries on issues including: artificial intelligence, the fight against drug smuggling and maintaining contacts between the armies of both powers.

After the November meeting, Biden told reporters that he had not changed his view that Xi was a dictator, which irritated China, Reuters recalled.

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