February 27, 2024
White House says contact between Biden and Xi should discuss Taiwan and Ukraine

White House says contact between Biden and Xi should discuss Taiwan and Ukraine

By Alexandra Alper, Michael Martina and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Tuesday that tensions over Taiwan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to be a topic of discussion in a phone conversation expected this week between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

White House National Security spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a news conference that the economic spat between the two countries should be a topic of expected discussion this week, Biden said on Monday.

It will be the fifth call between the two leaders and comes as China gives the Biden administration stronger warnings against a possible visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to democratic Taiwan, which Beijing claims.

“Everything from the tensions over Taiwan to the war in Ukraine, as well as how best to manage competition between the two countries, certainly in the economic sphere,” Kirby said of the topics to be discussed.

“It’s a call that’s been on for a long time and they already have a very strong agenda of things these two leaders can talk about,” he said.

Under the “one China” policy, the United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but US law is obligated to provide the island with the means to defend itself. The White House quickly confirmed that this position had not changed, despite speculation about a possible visit by Pelosi.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Michael Martina and Alexandra Alper)