UPDATE 1-Biden expects to speak with China’s Xi in the coming days

(Adds quote from Biden)

By Jeff Mason and Trevor Hunnicutt

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md., July 20 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden plans to speak with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, within the coming days at a moment of simmering tensions between the countries.

“I think I’ll be talking to President Xi within the next 10 days,” Biden told reporters as he returned from a climate-related trip to Massachusetts.

The long-planned call between the two leaders would come at a crucial moment given ongoing tensions over the status of Taiwan and as the Biden administration weighs a sharp reduction in tariffs on goods imported from China to help reduce inflation pressures on American consumers.

Biden cast doubt on a trip reportedly planned by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan next month, saying, “I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now, but I don’t know what the status of it is .” (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy)

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