Biden sees change in relations with China ‘soon’, says G7 wants to reduce risk, not decouple

HIROSHIMA (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday the Group of Seven nations had agreed to a united approach to China that called for diversifying supply chains to reduce dependence on of a single country, and hinted that he may speak with the Chinese president soon.
“We are not looking to dissociate ourselves from China. We are looking to reduce risk and diversify our relationship with China,” Biden said at a press conference, adding that G7 nations were more united than ever to “together resist economic coercion and fight harmful practices that harm our workers.”
But the US president, speaking after a three-day meeting of G7 leaders, said he expected a thaw in frosty relations with China “very soon” after tensions caused by an incident earlier this year when the United States shot down a chinese balloon who flew over sensitive military sites.
“We should have an open hotline,” Biden said. He said he agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia last year to keep communications open, but everything changed after “that stupid balloon which carried two freight cars containing spy equipment”.
Biden suggested a shift in US-China relations could come soon, echoing his comment to reporters before he left.
“As far as speaking with them, I think you’re going to see this thaw very soon,” Biden said.
On the issue of tensions between China and Taiwan, Biden said most allies clearly understood that if China were to act unilaterally against Taiwan, there would be a response.
“We’re not going to tell China when they can do that,” he said, “but until then we’re going to put Taiwan in a position where they can defend themselves.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen pledged on Saturday to maintain the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait amid high tensions with China, which has stepped up military pressure on the ruled island. democratically.
Biden reiterated that the United States and G7 allies would not trade materials that would enable China to manufacture weapons of mass destruction, but that was “not a hostile act.”
He said he would not consider easing China’s restrictions on such materials, but was negotiating to ease sanctions on Chinese General Li Shangfu, who was appointed in March as a new Chinese Defense Minister.


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