President Biden said Wednesday that he expects to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping “within the next 10 days,” which would be the first one-on-one call between the two leaders since March.
“I think I’ll be talking to President Xi within the next 10 days,” Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews, after returning from a trip to Massachusetts.
Biden said last month that he expected to speak with his Chinese counterpart “soon” but offered a more specific timeline on Wednesday.
The admission could signal that a decision on whether to lift some Trump-era tariffs on China is imminent, though Biden didn’t give a straight answer to a follow-up question on what he would tell Xi about tariffs. Biden has considered lifting tariffs on Chinese goods as a way to ease inflation, though the idea has received pushback from labor unions.
Biden and Xi have had a handful of virtual engagements over the past year and a half, the last being in March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Biden used that call to warn Xi about providing support to Russia in its war aims, Biden administration officials said at the time.
In the months since, the U.S. has not cited evidence of China providing any support to Russia in connection with the Ukraine invasion.
Biden has made “outcompeting” China a central focus of his domestic economic agenda and has sought to rally other democracies behind countering Beijing’s growing global influence.
In May, Biden took his first trip to Asia as president, during which he vowed to defend Taiwan if China invaded the island. The White House insisted Biden’s words did not represent a change in U.S. policy toward Taiwan, but the comments nevertheless inflamed tensions with Beijing.
Source: The Hill