US CHINA – Biden, Xi speak for over 2 hours amid Taiwan tensions

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United States president Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a telephone conversation for over two hours on Thursday at a time of simmering tensions between the superpowers, the White House said.

The call began at 8.33am local time (12.33pm GMT) and concluded at 10.50am local time. The White House offered no detail on the contents of the discussion.

A statement by the Chinese foreign ministry said Xi had urged Biden to abide by the ‘one-China’ principle and reiterated China’s opposition “to Taiwan’s independence” and any “external interference”.

It was the fifth time the leaders have spoken since Biden entered the White House in January 2021.

The telephone call Thursday came amid a spike in tensions between the nations over US tariffs on Chinese products, the war in Ukraine and, most notably, a possible visit by House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.