Xi-Biden phone call delayed amidst deteriorating U.S.-China ties

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25th March 2023 – (Washington) According to sources familiar with the matter, US officials are now anticipating a delay in the expected phone call between President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping. The delay is being attributed to the ongoing deterioration of ties between the two biggest economies in the world.

China’s leaders have yet to respond to U.S. requests to set up the call, which was initially planned to happen soon after China’s annual legislative meeting ended on 13th March. However, the US now anticipates that the call may not take place until after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen passes through the U.S. in early April.

This delay in the call is just one reflection of the broader decline in the relationship between the two nations. In recent months, both sides have engaged in spats, heated exchanges, and full-blown crises, fueling tensions that have only continued to grow.

Adding to the already heated situation is the US decision to include a stopover by Taiwan’s President during her visit to the country, which Chinese officials have criticised. While this delay in the phone call is not causing panic, it is a troubling sign of the state of U.S.-China relations.

US officials have emphasized the importance of restoring communication between the two nations. The US Defense Secretary has made an effort to speak with his Chinese counterpart, but China has yet to respond. Lower-level contacts between the US and China continue, but efforts to re-establish high-level communication are crucial.

President Biden has stressed the importance of one-on-one chats with other leaders as a way to smooth relations, despite his last meeting with Xi being overshadowed by the balloon incident and US accusations that China is moving closer to Russia and may provide it lethal assistance for the invasion of Ukraine. Nonetheless, Biden remains committed to maintaining communication with China’s leadership, and is considering sending Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to the People’s Republic of China to discuss economic issues.