Biden Holds First Call With China’s Xi Jinping Since Taking Office

Headline Roundup February 11th, 2021

President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for two hours on Wednesday in their first call since Biden took office. According to a White House readout, Biden “underscored his fundamental concerns” on China’s economic practices and its actions towards Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, as well as the “shared challenges” of the COVID-19 pandemic, global health security, climate change, and weapons proliferation. You can read the official Chinese account of the call here. Biden also made news the following day by telling a group of senators that China would “eat our lunch” if “we don’t get moving” on infrastructure investment.

Coverage followed similar narratives across the spectrum, emphasizing different topics raised in the call. Some coverage on both sides also used the call as a platform to report on the broader state of U.S.-China relations under the new administration.

Biden Holds First Call With China’s Xi Jinping Since Taking Office

From the Right
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President Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time Wednesday night since taking office, outlining his administration’s "core concerns" with China’s "practices, aggressive activities and abuses," signaling a "clear and consistent subscription to American values," while discussing areas in which the administration believes it could be in the United States’ national interest to work with Beijing, senior administration officials said.

In a statement Wednesday night, the White House said Biden "shared his greetings and well wishes with the Chinese people on the occasion of Lunar New Year."...

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From the Center
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U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held their first telephone call as leaders and appeared at odds on most issues, even as Xi warned that confrontation would be a “disaster” for both nations.

While Xi has called for “win-win” cooperation, Biden has called China America’s “most serious competitor” and vowed to “out compete” Beijing.

On Thursday, Biden told a bipartisan group of U.S. senators at an Oval Office meeting to discuss the need to upgrade U.S. infrastructure that the United States must raise its game in...

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From the Left
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President Biden spoke Wednesday evening with President Xi Jinping of China, raising concerns about Beijing’s aggressive policies abroad and human rights abuses at home in the first conversation between the two leaders since Mr. Biden’s election.

Turning to what may be the most important foreign relationship of his presidency, Mr. Biden issued those warnings while offering to cooperate on global priorities of mutual interest.

In a summary of the call, the White House said that Mr. Biden “underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in...

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