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According to the United States, the call between Biden and Xi would likely include the situation in Ukraine and Taiwan

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - In the wake of fresh tensions over Taiwan and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden ...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - In the wake of fresh tensions over Taiwan and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to speak on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the plans.

The White House's national security spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters on Tuesday that the call would also centre on managing economic competition between the two nations.

The presidents will speak on their fifth phone chat, and it will take place as China has intensified its warnings to the Biden administration over a potential visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to democratically-run Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own.

The subjects up for discussion, according to Kirby, "include everything from the conflicts over Taiwan to the crisis in Ukraine, as well as how we better manage competition between our two nations, at least in the economic realm."

There is a lengthy list of topics for these two leaders to discuss on this call, he said.

Even though the United States does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan as part of its one-China policy, it is required to give the island nation the means to defend itself by American law. Despite rumours of a potential trip by Pelosi, the White House has not hesitated to reaffirm that its position has not changed.

Pelosi's overseas travel, according to Kirby, was a concern of U.S. national security because she is a candidate for the presidency. However, she was the only one who could decide how to proceed.

He said that China's "bellicose" talk about the possible trip only makes things worse.

"Given the circumstances, we find this unhelpful and in no way warranted," he stated.

A decision was not anticipated prior to the conversation, according to Kirby, even though the administration has been contemplating whether to remove some tariffs on Chinese goods in an effort to strengthen the American economy.

The CHIPs act, which would offer around $52 billion in subsidies for the American semiconductor industry as well as an investment tax credit for chip facilities estimated to be worth $24 billion, is being debated by the US Congress at the time of the call. Biden has argued that this legislation is essential for maintaining economic competition with China.

"It's my expectation, but I'll let you know when that gets set up," Biden told reporters in reference to the anticipated call with Xi during his virtual remarks on Monday supporting approval of the law.

The U.S. House might do the same as soon as later this week once the Senate votes on final passage in the upcoming days.


There are many problems affecting the strained U.S.-China relations, and Pelosi's trip is just one of them.

Senior U.S. officials had earlier on Tuesday accused China of upping its "provocations" against rival territory claimants in the South China Sea and warned that the country's ships and aircraft were acting "aggressively and irresponsibly," which meant it was only a matter of time until a serious incident or accident.

Being the first House speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997, Pelosi's travel there would be met with warnings from China, which has stated it is prepared to retaliate harshly.

Pelosi visiting Taiwan would be "playing with fire," according to Zhu Feng, dean of Nanjing University's Institute of International Studies in China.

China is particularly irritated by this issue, he claimed.

"Both parties must convey during the call that they can have a fundamental level of trust in one another. This is crucial because the world is still unstable and brittle. Building this confidence requires not endorsing Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, "added he.

Without any mechanism between the United States and China to prevent it from turning into a confrontation, Daniel Russel, the senior American diplomat for Asia under former President Barack Obama, said the Taiwan issue had the makings of a serious catastrophe.

We are in a high-risk period and it behoves leaders in both countries to walk carefully, he said, adding that it was unclear how much pressure the Biden administration was putting on Pelosi. However, Xi was likely to push hard on the subject in the call.

Nevertheless, Craig Singleton, a senior China fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, predicted that Xi would try to show composure as he deals with a slowing economy and the burden of the COVID-19 stringent domestic regulations in the run-up to a crucial Communist Party Congress later this year.

While Singleton predicted that Xi would be forthright and direct in expressing China's concerns on Speaker Pelosi's visit, he "would probably not allow that one topic to derail the entire conversation, as doing so would further complicate his already challenging governing agenda."

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