WASHINGTON: The White House reported that the conference lasted two hours and 17 minutes, and both sides gave quite different readouts of the discussion's length and content.
In their first call in four months, Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly warned US President Joe Biden that "those who dabble with fire will get burned.
President Xi and Biden spoke "as part of our efforts to deepen lines of dialogue, properly manage our disagreements, and address matters of mutual interest," according to a more subdued tweet from Biden.
No mention of any burn or fire.
In the midst of simmering tensions over a prospective trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the two leaders spoke on the fifth occasion since President Biden entered office.
Beijing has issued a warning about the consequences since it views it as a provocation. Since Pelosi is second in line to the White House behind the vice president, the US considers it a danger to its sovereign sovereignty and has stated it will use military force to defend her if she proceeds with the trip.
After the phone call, there didn't seem to be any climbdown on either side.
The call was "part of the Biden Administration's efforts to preserve and develop lines of communication between the United States and the PRC and appropriately manage our differences and work together where our interests match," according to a White House readout of the conversation.
According to the statement, the two presidents spoke about a variety of topics crucial to their bilateral relations as well as other local, regional, and international issues. They then charged their teams with continuing to follow up on today's conversation, particularly with regard to addressing climate change and health security.
There was a well-known ambivalence in Taiwan. Washington upholds a one-China policy while also committing to defend Taiwan in the event of an assault.
President Biden stressed that American policy has not changed and that Washington vehemently opposes any unilateral attempts to alter the course of events or jeopardize peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, according to the statement.
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