President Biden held his longest call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday morning amid tensions between the two world powers.
The call — the fifth between Biden and Xi since Biden took office — began at 8:33 a.m. ET and lasted two hours and 17 minutes, the White House said.
Chinese government officials have recently demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., cancel a planned trip to Taiwan, saying it is a betrayal of Chinese-U.S. foreign policy agreements.
“The call was a part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the PRC and responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align,” the White House said of the call afterwards. “The call follows the two leaders’ conversation on March 18th and a series of conversations between high-level U.S. and PRC officials.
“The two presidents discussed a range of issues important to the bilateral relationship and other regional and global issues, and tasked their teams to continue following up on today’s conversation, in particular to address climate change and health security,” the White House said.
“On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the readout adds.
The Chinese Communist Party has threatened to respond harshly if Pelosi visits the island, which mainland China believes rightfully belongs the CCP but which Taiwan itself denies.
China’s government warned last week it would take “forceful measures” if Pelosi visited Taiwan after the Financial Times reported she would travel to the Chinese-claimed island nation next month.
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is an island nation off the coast of Asia’s mainland. Taiwan has declared itself independent of the People’s Republic of China and has claimed continuation of governance from pre-revolutionary China.
The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes into the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.