US President Joe Biden plans to speak “very soon” by phone with China’s dictator Xi Jinping, on which he intends to address the situation in Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, according to the House. White on Tuesday (26).
There is still no date for the expected conversation between the two leaders, which will be the fifth since Biden arrived at the White House in January 2021, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“There will be many questions on the table as this is one of the most significant bilateral relations in the world, from the tensions over Taiwan to the war in Ukraine, and also how we can better manage competition between our two nations,” the spokesperson said.
Emphasis will be placed, according to Kirby, on security issues and China’s territorial claims.
In this sense, in addition to Taiwan, the two leaders will also speak over the South China Sea, a region where it is estimated that there are billion barrels of oil 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 said the US is unlikely to make a decision before the talk about whether or not to continue the tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by former President Donald Trump (2017-2021).
The Biden administration has said it is considering ending these tariffs to mitigate inflation, which rose to 9.1% in June, something not seen since 1981.
“He (Biden) wants to ensure that all lines of communication with Xi be kept open on all issues, even if there are problems”, commented Kirby, who defended the importance of both being able to communicate by phone in a “pure” and “direct” way.
The White House has been building expectations for weeks about a phone call between Biden and Xi.
In In the background, now weighs the possibility that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, will travel to Taiwan in the coming weeks, something that was anticipated by the newspaper “The Financial Times” and that generated great rejection by the Chinese government.
Pelosi has yet to officially announce any trips, and Kirby declined to say whether this will be a topic Biden will address in his conversation 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 biggest military ally in the in case 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.