US President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for 2 hours and 17 minutes on Thursday, the White House said, in the fifth call between the two since Biden took office, news agency MIA informs.
“The two presidents discussed a range of issues important to the bilateral relationship and other regional and global issues, and tasked their teams to continue following up on today’s conversation, in particular to address climate change and health security,” the White House said in a statement.
“On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
The statement came after Beijing expressed fury over reports that Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was considering a visit to Taiwan. Concerns are growing about Taiwan, a self-ruling democracy that has had an independent government since 1949. Beijing views it as a breakaway province that will eventually be reunited with the mainland.
A senior US administration official said it was important for Biden and Xi to have regular exchanges and suggested the two might discuss Taiwan and Ukraine, ahead of the call.
“The president wants to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi remain open, because they need to. There’s issues where we can cooperate with China on, and then there’s issues where, obviously, there’s friction and tension,” he said.