Biden, Xi hold phone talks

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have discussed the need to avoid letting competition between their countries veer into conflict.

In a statement released on Thursday, the White House said Biden and Xi held a phone conversation.

The statement said that the two leaders had "a broad strategic discussion," including "areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge."

The statement said President Biden "underscored the United States' enduring interest in peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world."

It also said the two leaders discussed "the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict."

Biden has described China as his country's "most serious competitor," and the US is increasingly concerned about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and China's maritime activities in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

The US is ramping up pressure on China in cooperation with Japan and other US allies.

Thursday's talks between the top leaders were apparently aimed at preventing an unintended escalation of the rivalry.