Biden says he expects China relations thaw 'very shortly'

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© Susan Walsh, AP

US President Joe Biden said Sunday that ties between Washington and Beijing should thaw "very shortly", after the United States shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon this year.

Biden said relations had deteriorated in the months following his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali in November.

Washington's decision in February to shoot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon that overflew the United States sparked a diplomatic spat between the world's two largest economies.

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A visit to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken that had been billed as a chance to improve relations was cancelled over the incident.

On Sunday, at a press conference following the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Biden was asked why a planned hotline between the United States and China was not in operation.

"You're right, we should have an open hotline. At the Bali conference, that's what President Xi and I agreed we were going to do and meet on," he said.


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