Chinese President, Xi Jinping spoke with US president, Joe Biden on phone, the first time both leaders will talk in seven months amid tension between both countries.
US- China relations are at their worst since the world war, with clashes over issues like trade, espionage, Taiwan, human rights and the Covid-19 pandemic.
A White House Statement said both leaders had “discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict”.
“The two leaders had a broad, strategic discussion in which they discussed areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge,” the White House Statement added.
“This discussion, as President Biden made clear, was part of the United States’ ongoing effort to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the phone call was “candid [and] in-depth”, adding that it had covered “extensive strategic communication and… issues of mutual concern”.
“Whether China and the US can properly handle their relations… is critical for the future and destiny of the world,” said Xi, according to the CCTV report.
A senior White House official said the call came at the request of President Biden, who had become “exasperated” by the unwillingness of lower level Chinese officials to hold substantive talks with his administration.
The US accuses China of genocide against the Uighur population in the province of Xinjiang. It also says Beijing is trampling on democratic rights in Hong Kong with a recently introduced security law while also accusing China of being responsible for spreading COVID to the world.
Meanwhile, China has repeatedly told the US to stop interfering in its internal affairs as regards Hong Kong and Taiwan.