For the first time in seven months, US President Joe Biden spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday, encouraging them to ensure that "competition" between the two countries does not become "conflict," according to the White House. During the call, Biden stated that the US wants to guarantee that "the dynamic stays competitive and that we don't have any circumstance in the future where we swerve into inadvertent war," according to a senior US administration official.

The phone chat was "candid, in-depth," according to official broadcaster CCTV, and covered "extensive strategic communication and exchanges on China-US relations and areas of mutual concern," and that US policies toward China have produced "severe problems." This was the leaders' first phone call since February, when they spoke for two hours shortly after Biden took over as President from Donald Trump. The most recent call, according to a Biden administration official, lasted 90 minutes.

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Trump's trade battle with China has strained relations between the world's two largest economies. While advocating for multilateralism and an end to Trump's "America first" philosophy, Biden's government has maintained trade tariffs and remained tough on other problematic areas of the relationship with Beijing. However, in Thursday's conversation, the White House suggested that the diplomatic deadlock is untenable and potentially hazardous, necessitating action by the leaders.

The officials stated that they welcome tough competition but do not want it to turn into confrontation. The call's objective was to establish "guardrails" so that the connection could be "managed properly." Biden and Xi "addressed areas where our interests overlap and places where our interests, values, and views vary," according to a White House readout following the discussion.



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