A call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese Xi Jinping (習近平) scheduled to take place this week is likely to cover tensions over Taiwan, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday.
“Everything from the tensions over Taiwan, to the war in Ukraine, as well as how we better manage competition between our two nations, certainly in the economic sphere,” Kirby told a news briefing.
Kirby’s comments come after Beijing expressed strong opposition to a reported trip to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) on Tuesday last week called on Washington to “stop creating tensions over the Taiwan Strait.”
However, Kirby called the US-China relationship “one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world,” adding that there are possibilities for both sides to cooperate on issues such as global warming.
Kirby said the White House has seen some bellicosity from Beijing, but called the rhetoric “unnecessary,” adding that there has not been a formal announcement regarding Pelosi’s trip.
Kirby also declined to speculate if the reported trip would be on the agenda when Biden talks with Xi, only saying that Biden’s national security team had briefed Pelosi about security concerns and related arrangements.
The planned trip was first reported on Monday last week by the Financial Times, which cited six people familiar with the matter as saying that the 82-year-old Democratic lawmaker was planning to lead a delegation to Taiwan next month.
However, Biden on Wednesday last week said the US military thought that “it’s not a good idea right now ... but I don’t know what the status of it [the trip] is.”
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