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National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday that he expects President Biden will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the coming weeks as tensions are soaring between the two powers.
Sullivan said one of the reasons for the talks is the growing "convergence" among the US and its allies on the view of China. "We do think that there is increasing convergence, both at the G7 and at NATO, around the challenge China poses," Sullivan said.
"We're not looking to divide the world into rival blocs and make every country choose" Sullivan sought to qualify. "We want to stand for a set of principles that are fair to everybody. And we want to ensure that we're working with like-minded partners to hold China accountable to adhere to those rules."
Earlier this month, Sullivan met with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, in Luxembourg. The meeting lasted four and a half hours, and the two officials discussed the war in Ukraine, Taiwan, and China’s vetoing of a UN Security Council measure that would have increased sanctions on North Korea.
The purpose of the Yang-Sullivan meeting was to "reduce risks" as the US has been taking various steps to increase cooperation with other countries to counter China, moves that have angered officials in Beijing. The meeting was also seen as a potential precursor to talks between Biden and Xi.
This week, President Biden is using a trip to Europe to increase the pressure on Beijing. On Sunday, the US and the G7 announced a $600 billion infrastructure plan to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative. At a summit in Madrid later in the week, NATO is expected to release a new strategy document that names China as a "security challenge."
In another effort to counter China, the US launched trade talks with Taiwanese officials on Monday. Beijing has strongly warned Washington against holding trade talks with Taiwan and against cooperation with the island in general, but the US continues to ignore the warnings.
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