US President Joe Biden spoke Thursday with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the White House said, making it the first direct communication between the leaders in seven months.
They held “a broad, strategic discussion” in which they tackled “areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values and perspectives diverge,” the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders discussed their nations’ mutual responsibility in ensuring that the “competition” between them does not turn into “conflict.”
They also agreed to deal with “issues openly and straightforwardly” on issues where there is agreement and issues where there is not.
China’s media called the conversation between the world’s two largest economies “candid” and “in-depth.”
Relations between China and the US declined under Biden’s predecessor, former president Donald Trump, who launched a trade war with Beijing in 2018.
The US has kept trade restrictions despite Biden espousing a departure from Trump’s foreign policy. Points of contention include cybersecurity breaches from China, transparency over the origins of the coronavirus and trade disputes.
Biden had a close working relationship with Xi during the Obama administration, in which he served as vice president, and has voiced willingness to improve relations with Beijing.