WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone Wednesday evening for the first time since he took office, the White House said.
The White House said in a statement that Biden raised “fundamental concerns” about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan.”
The statement said the leaders also discussed countering the Covid-19 pandemic and “the shared challenges of global health security, climate change, and preventing weapons proliferation.”
Officials said Biden also planned to express his hope that the two leaders could cooperate on such issues as nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.
Biden doesn’t plan for now to lift tariffs on China that were imposed by the Trump administration, senior administration officials said before the call, and he is unlikely to reduce the U.S. military presence in Asia, as…
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