Biden assured that relations deteriorated after his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit held in the Indonesian island of Bali in November.
Washington’s decision in February to shoot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew over the US sparked a diplomatic standoff between the world’s two biggest economies.
The United States and Canada shot down three objects from their airspace suspected of being Chinese spy balloons. © Randall Hill / Reuters
Billed as an opportunity to improve relations, a visit to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken was canceled after the incident.
At a press conference after the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Sunday, Biden was asked why there is a straight line between the US and China.
“You’re right, we should have an open hotline. At the Bali conference, President Xi and I agreed that’s what we’re going to do and meet,” he said.
Biden said, “And then this silly balloon carrying two freight wagons of espionage material flew over the United States of America.”
“They took it off and everything changed when it came to talking to each other. I think you’ll see it start to thaw soon.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden shake hands during the G20 summit on November 14, 2022 in Bali, Indonesia. AP – Alex Brandon
The Biden administration has also angered China by targeting trade in advanced microchips, citing the risks of military use.
The president defended the actions on Sunday, a day after the Group of Seven world’s major economies warned China about its “militarisation activities” in the region.
“China is building up its military, and so I have made it clear that I am not willing to trade certain products with China,” he said.
“We have a commitment now to all of our partners that they’re not going to do that, provide that type of content.”
“But it’s not an outright act, it’s an act that says, ‘We’re going to make sure we do everything we can to maintain the status quo.'”
With information from AFP