Biden acknowledged he planned to speak with the Chinese President during virtual remarks calling for passage of the bipartisan CHIPs Act Monday, telling reporters, “That’s my expectation, but I’ll let you know when that gets set up. I promise I’ll let you know.”
Pelosi’s possible trip is highlighting the concerns within the Biden administration over China’s designs on Taiwan as Beijing has stepped up its rhetoric and aggressive actions toward the island in recent months, including sending warplanes into Taiwan’s self-declared air defense identification zone several times. US officials have expressed concern that those moves could be precursors to even more aggressive steps by China in the coming months meant to assert its authority over the island.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has only intensified those worries, as Biden and other top officials nervously watch to see what lessons China may be taking from the Western response to Moscow’s aggression.
Xi, meanwhile, is believed to be laying the groundwork for an unprecedented third term as president in the fall, contributing to the tense geopolitics in the region.
Biden’s call with Xi was in the works before Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan became public, officials previously noted.
This story has been updated with additional details.