Washington: By the end of the month, U.S. President Joe Biden intends to speak with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, amid simmering trade and Taiwan-related tensions between the two nations.
As he arrived back from a climate-related trip to Massachusetts, Biden told reporters, "I think I'll be talking to President Xi within the next 10 days."
The long-discussed call between the two leaders, the first in four months, would take place at a vital time given the sensitivities surrounding Taiwan's status and as the Biden administration considers lowering import taxes on Chinese goods to assist American consumers to cope with inflation pressures.
High-level involvement is crucial to maintaining the challenging relationship's stability and preventing it from unintentionally escalating into confrontation, according to the United States, which refers to China as its principal strategic opponent. Washington pressured NATO to accept a strategic paper last month that referred to China as a security threat.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Biden seemed to question a trip that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is said to be planning to Taiwan next month.
Biden added, "I believe that the military believes that it is not a good idea at this time, but I am unsure of the status of it.
Beijing declared on Tuesday that if Pelosi visited the island that it claims as its own, it would respond with "forceful actions" and that this would "seriously violate China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Due to security reasons, Pelosi's office chose not to comment on whether the visit will take place. The trip has been labeled "hypothetical" by the State Department. The Financial Times revealed the itinerary and stated that the White House had voiced its worries.
The democratically run island is seen by China as its own territory, and this issue frequently irritates relations between Beijing and Washington.
The Biden administration has frequently emphasized its "rock-solid" dedication to the security of the island.
As recently as Tuesday, U.S. military warships were making transits over the Taiwan Strait, infuriating Beijing, which earlier this month dispatched fighters across the strait's median line in response to U.S. Senator Rick Scott's visit to Taipei.
The Biden administration and China have had disagreements on trade because of China's failure to uphold its end of previous trade accords.
A review of potential tariff relief, notably on the "Section 301" tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump and covering around $370 billion in Chinese imports, has been triggered by rising inflation. According to those familiar with the tariff discussions, Biden is considering whether to link the elimination of some tariffs with a new inquiry into China's industrial subsidies and attempts to control important industries like semiconductors. More tariffs might result from such an investigation.
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