Aiming to ease the tensions between the two countries, United States President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, spoke on the phone for the first time after several months to iron out some kinks in their relations.
Biden initiated the call with Xi -- the second time between the two leaders since Biden was sworn as U.S. president. They spoke for 90 minutes.
It comes at a time when the two side are facing many sensitive issues, including cybersecurity breaches, reportedly, originating from China, China's handling of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and what the U.S. has described as "unfair" trade practices by the Chinese.
Biden assured the U.S. remains committed to maintaining good relations with its fellow superpower. Beijing and Washington are currently facing one of the most challenging points in their relations in decades.
In an official statement released by the White House, it said that the two leaders had a broad and strategic discussion that focused on the economy, climate change, and above all, the ongoing global pandemic.
"President Biden underscored the United States' enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world and the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,'' the statement said in quotes by Reuters.
Biden and Xi's first high-level meeting last February have only brought small progress on the China-U.S. critical issues such as COVID-19 and human rights.
In the following months after their meeting, the two nations started again throwing criticisms and accusations at each other. As the months progressed, frictions between the two nations have consistently heated up.
Xi said that the U.S.' current policy on China is certainly causing rifts in their relations. But even with their ongoing animosity, both nations have clearly expressed that they would maintain frequent contact and increase communications between their working-level teams.
Aside from its shaky relations with China, the Biden administration is also dealing with its recent withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which the Taliban now has complete control of.
This decision had a big consequence, but it is clear that the U.S. is serious about refocusing its attention and resources on more critical areas, such as countering China's expanding influence and fixing its embattled economy.