BIDEN, CHINA’S XI SPEAK FOR FIRST TIME SINCE US ELECTION

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President  Xi Jinping spoke by phone late Wednesday, the first call between the two since Biden’s November victory in the U.S. presidential election.

Biden “affirmed his priorities of protecting the American people’s security, prosperity, health, and way of life, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to a readout provided by the White House.

The two leaders also discussed the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and the possibility of Washington and Beijing pursuing what the White House described as the possibility of pursuing “practical, results-oriented engagements” on arms control.

But officials said Biden also held firm on several key areas of contention.

“President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan,” the readout said.