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Sunday April 14, 2024

Xi warns Biden US is ‘creating risks’ with technology

The Biden administration has imposed bans on the sale of certain technologies to Chinese companies

By REUTERS
April 03, 2024
Chinas President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Joe Biden. — AFP/File
China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Joe Biden. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first direct talks on Tuesday since meeting in November, with Biden looking to keep tensions from mounting ahead of Taiwan’s presidential inauguration in May.

Biden used the call to emphasize “the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,” the White House said in a statement.

Xi said ties between the China and the US are beginning to stabilize, but warned that they could “slide into conflict or confrontation,” Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.

Xi warned Biden that the US is “not de-risking but creating risks” by suppressing China’s trade and technology development and adding new entities to the sanctions list.

The Biden administration has imposed bans on the sale of certain technologies to Chinese companies, citing national security risks. China has accused Washington of “weaponising” economic and trade issues.

On Tuesday’s call, Biden said the US “will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced US technologies from being used to undermine our national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment,” the White House said, adding the call lasted for one hour and 45 minutes.

Biden and Xi agreed in November to reopen military communications and cooperate to curb fentanyl production. They had not spoken on the phone since July 2022. After November’s meeting, Biden told reporters he had not changed his view that Xi is a dictator, a comment that irked China.

China regards Taiwan, a self-governed island with democratic elections, as part of its territory and recently dropped language about a “peaceful reunification” from its budget. Taiwan strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s people can decide their future.