U.S. President Joe Biden says plans to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as the U.S. analyzes whether reducing tariffs on Chinese imports might help curb inflation.
Biden did not clarify on the call's purpose or scheduled conversation subjects. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China did not reply quickly to a request for comment.
Biden told reporters upon his return from a climate-related trip to Massachusetts, "I anticipate speaking with President Xi within the next 10 days."
The long-awaited call between the two leaders, their first in four months, would occur at a vital time given tensions over Taiwan's status and as the Biden administration considers reducing import levies on Chinese goods to alleviate inflationary pressures on American consumers.
The last time the two leaders spoke was in March, when they primarily discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine. China has denied that the attack constitutes an invasion.
An administration official minimized the importance of tariffs in the talks, which was billed as a prospective call.
The official stated that the conversation would cover a variety of bilateral, regional, and global concerns unrelated to the tariff procedure. The official requested anonymity because the call has not yet been arranged.
When asked if he felt House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should visit Taiwan this summer, Biden responded, "The military thinks it's not a smart idea right now, but I don't know the current condition."
This week, the Financial Times reported, citing sources, that Pelosi planned to visit Taiwan in August with a delegation - the first visit by someone in her position in 25 years.
The United States identifies China as its principal strategic opponent and asserts that high-level dialogue is essential to maintaining the stability of the tense relationship and preventing it from accidentally escalating into confrontation.
Washington pushed NATO to endorse a strategic paper describing China as a security threat last month.
Wednesday, when speaking to reporters, Biden appeared to cast doubt on a trip purportedly scheduled for next month by Pelosi to Taiwan.
In discussions with his economic team over the past few months, officials have debated whether the elimination of the levies would aid in the fight against record inflation in the United States or leave Biden exposed to attacks from Republicans and organized labor.
The administration is worried that wider tariff cuts will not result in savings being passed on to consumers, according to a source with knowledge of the proceedings.