Washington, Jul 26 – US President Joe Biden plans to hold a telephone call “very soon” with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in which he will address the situation in Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, announced this Tuesday the White House.
There is still no date for the expected telephone exchange between the two leaders, which will be the fifth since Biden arrived at the White House in January 2021, spokesman for the White House National Security Council told reporters on Tuesday. Kirby.
“There will be many issues on the table, given that this is one of the most significant bilateral relationships in the world, from the tensions over Taiwan, to the war in Ukraine, and also how we can better manage the competition between our two nations,” he said. spokesman.
Emphasis will be placed, Kirby said, on security issues and China’s territorial claims.
In this sense, apart from Taiwan, the two leaders will also talk about the South China Sea, a region in which it is estimated that 11,000 million barrels of oil are hidden and that the Asian giant disputes with Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines. , Malaysia and Vietnam.
The other big issue will be the economy, although Kirby warned that the US will probably not make a decision before the call on whether or not to continue the tariffs on Chinese goods that former President Donald Trump imposed (2017-2021).
The Biden administration has said it is considering ending those tariffs to mitigate inflation, which shot up to 9.1% in June, something not seen since 1981.
“He (Biden) wants to make sure that all lines of communication with President Xi are kept open on all issues, even if there are problems,” said Kirby, who defended the importance of both leaders being able to call each other on the phone to talk about “candid” and “direct” way.
The White House has been building expectations for weeks about a phone call between Biden and Xi.
In the background, now weighs the possibility that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, travel to Taiwan this summer, something that was advanced by The Financial Times newspaper and that has generated great rejection by the Chinese Government .
Pelosi has yet to officially announce any trips, and Kirby declined to say whether that will be a topic Biden will address on the call with Xi.
The Chinese government has warned that it will respond with “strong measures” if Pelosi visits Taiwan, in what would be the first visit by a US House Speaker to Taiwan since 1997, when Newt Gingrich visited the island.
Taiwan is one of the main sources of conflict between China and the United States, mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be its greatest military ally in the event of a possible war with China.
In 1979, after breaking diplomatic ties with Taipei and establishing them with Beijing, the United States adopted the Taiwan Relations Act, committing itself to the defense of the island and the supply of war equipment.
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