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A Phone Call Between Biden And XI Jinping Has Begun

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It is expected that President Biden will speak Friday with China’s Xi Jinping, however, this won’t just be another telephone call in what has become a frenzy of telephone diplomacy.

According to a White House official, the phone call began at 9:03 a.m. eastern time on Thursday, according to a White House official. The phone call comes at a time when the United States and China may face a turning point in relations.

The White House is watching with growing concern the emerging partnership between Chinese President Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as China’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has been a concern to western observers. Beijing appears to be neither fully supportive nor directly opposed to the U.S. peace process, making for an uncertain stance that Biden hopes to both decode and influence when he meets with Xi on Friday.

Officials with the White House said that they were expecting the phone call to turn intense; a preliminary meeting between the two leaders’ aides earlier in the week lasted for seven hours. The stakes were ratcheted up once again when Biden alluded to the call a day earlier, declaring that his Chinese counterpart “does not believe democracies can be sustained in the 21st century.”

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