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President Biden told reporters on Thursday that his call Wednesday evening with China's Xi Jinping lasted two hours.

Why it matters: Biden summed up his view on China during the brief remarks from the Oval Office on Wednesday, saying, "If we don't get moving, they're going to eat our lunch."

  • Biden cited China's efforts on high-speed rail and electric vehicles, saying the U.S. would have to "step up" to compete effectively. The comments came during a meeting with bipartisan senators to discuss infrastructure.
  • Flashback: Biden made almost the exact opposite comments on the campaign trail in 2019. “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man," he said at the time, adding, "they're not competition for us."

Wednesday evening's call covered thorny topics including the crackdown in Hong Kong, China's apparent genocide in Xinjiang, and Beijing's aggression toward Taiwan, according to a White House readout.

  • Biden said Thursday that it was a "good conversation" between two leaders who know each other well based on their interactions while Biden was vice president.

The big picture: Shortly before the call with Xi, Biden announced a new Pentagon task force on China and the White House unveiled the most detailed portrait yet of the administration's policies on China.

  • Senior administration officials told reporters that Biden agreed with Donald Trump's "basic proposition of an intense strategic competition with China," but that he'd approach it very differently.

Go deeper

Go deeper

Biden holds first call as president with China's Xi Jinping

Biden and Xi in 2012, when both were serving as vice president. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty

President Biden on Wednesday evening held his first call with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office, raising thorny issues including human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

The big picture: Ahead of the call, senior administration officials offered reporters the most detailed portrait to date of Biden’s policies toward China, and how they will build on — and diverge from — Donald Trump’s approach.

Biden announces new Pentagon task force on China

Biden at the Pentagon, being introduced by Sec. Lloyd Austin. Photo;Alex Brandon/AP Photo/Bloomberg via Getty

President Biden used a visit to the Pentagon on Wednesday to announce a new department-wide task force to "chart a strong path forward on China-related matters."

Why it matters: Biden is emphasizing early in his tenure that China will be a top priority.

Feb 10, 2021 - World

Norway's youth parties call for end to China free trade talks

Activists in Brussels protest against China's policies towards Uyghurs on Feb. 6, 2021. Photo credit: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

The youth wings of Norway's main political parties have signed a letter calling for the country to rescind its normalization agreement with China and stop free trade negotiations due to China's human rights violations.

The big picture: Amid growing global awareness that close economic ties with China can have a chilling effect on free speech, opposition to China's Uyghur genocide is gaining momentum in Norway, where some politicians are fearful of jeopardizing ties with Beijing.