Biden wants early talks with Xi amid US-China tensions

by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday he planned to talk with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping soon, without saying more, as he released details of his appointment moments earlier. Had given. Compete with China.

Asked whether he is concerned that Beijing views the so-called “AUKUS” security agreement as an aggression, the White House chief of staff replied “no”.

Speaking to reporters during a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego, California, Joe Biden said yes, when asked if he plans to speak with Jinping anytime soon. He declined to say more about a possible date for such an exchange.

The US president said last month he wanted to talk with his Chinese counterpart about a balloon that flew over US territory, which Washington shot down in what it condemned as a spying device. The incident has escalated tensions with Beijing, which has denied any act of espionage and blamed the United States for damaging bilateral ties.

So far, there has been no official talks between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

Washington is looking to restore regular communication with China, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who indicated last week that the Biden-Xi phone interview could begin shortly after the Chinese government resumes work after the annual plenary session of parliament. May come, which ended on Monday. ,

The AUKUS deal plans to equip Australia with nuclear-capable submarines to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Beijing condemned the move, calling it an illegal act of nuclear proliferation.

Xi Jinping is planning to travel to Moscow early next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, people familiar with the matter have learned from Reuters.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese president also wants to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on February 24, 2022, for the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine. This telephonic conversation should take place after his visit to Russia.

Jake Sullivan told reporters on Monday that Washington had publicly and privately pressured Xi Jinping to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky and to get Ukraine’s point of view, not just closer to Russia, but closer to Russia.

The White House National Security Advisor said Kiev has not confirmed the schedule of the meeting between the two leaders.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom with Michael Martina; French edition by Jean Terzien)

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