President Joe Biden will have a phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday evening, Bloomberg News reported.
The call will be Biden’s first interaction with Xi as commander-in-chief and will come just hours after he ordered the Department of Defense to conduct a full review of America’s policies toward China and its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The White House has not confirmed the call nor what the two would plan to discuss. Biden and his foreign policy team have said that curbing China’s efforts to grow influence internationally is a top priority for his administration.
Likely topics are China’s aggressive pursuit of contested areas in the South China Sea, its attack on democracy in Hong Kong, and its human rights abuses in Xinjiang, which the Biden administration has termed a “genocide.”
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 10, 2021
Biden has also vowed to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas, primarily from China. Former President Donald Trump had extensive trade negotiations with China throughout his administrations, but the effort stalled after the coronavirus spread out of Wuhan.
Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin created a new China Task Force in the DOD on Wednesday aimed at creating a plan to curb China’s growth long-term. The task force will also review the U.S. Military’s technology and force posture with regard to China as well as America’s relevant alliances.
— Patsy Widakuswara (@pwidakuswara) February 10, 2021
The task force will make recommendations within “the next few months” on how the U.S. should alter its policies toward China.
Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken have been aggressive in their language toward China, though they term the nation a “competitor” rather than an “adversary.”