Sunday, October 01, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 15, 1445 H
clear sky
29°C / 29°C

Biden sees shift in ties with China 'shortly', says G7 wants to de-risk, not decouple

US President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference following the Group of Seven (G-7) leaders summit in Hiroshima, Japan. — Reuters
US President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference following the Group of Seven (G-7) leaders summit in Hiroshima, Japan. — Reuters

HIROSHIMA: US President Joe Biden on Sunday said the Group of Seven nations had agreed a united approach to China that called for diversifying supply chains to reduce dependence on one country, and hinted that he could speak with China's president soon.

"We're not looking to decouple from China. We're looking to de-risk and diversify our relationship with China," Biden told a press conference after a three-day summit with G7 leaders. He said G7 nations were more unified than ever in terms of "resisting economic coercion together and countering harmful practices that hurt our workers."

G7 leaders outlined a shared approach to "de-risk, not decouple" economic engagement with China in a Saturday communique, prompting China's embassy in Japan to urged the G7 to stop creating confrontation and division.

Despite the reaction, Biden said he expected a thaw in frosty relations with China "very shortly" after strains caused by an incident earlier this year when the United States shot down a Chinese balloon that flew over sensitive military sites.

"We should have an open hotline," Biden said. He said he had agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia last year to keep communications open, but everything changed after "this silly balloon that was carrying two freight cars worth of spying equipment."

Biden suggested a shift in US-China relations could occur soon, echoing his comment to reporters before his departure.

"In terms of talking with them, I think you're going to see that thaw very shortly," Biden said.

Biden said there was a clear understanding among most of the allies that if China were to act unilaterally against the self-governed island Taiwan, there would be a response.

Biden reiterated that the United States and G7 allies would not trade in materials that would allow China to build weapons of mass destruction, but insisted that was "not a hostile act."

He said he would not considering easing restrictions on China on those materials, but it was under negotiation whether to ease sanctions on Chinese General Li Shangfu, who was named in March as China's new Defense Minister. — Reuters

arrow up
home icon