“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.
“And then, this silly balloon that was carrying two freight cars worth of spying equipment was flying over the United States,” Biden added.
“It got shot down and everything changed in terms of talking to one another. I think you’re going to see that begin to thaw very shortly.”
Biden’s administration has also infuriated China by targeting trade in advanced microchips, citing risks of military use.
The president defended those actions on Sunday, a day after the Group of Seven leading economies warned China over its “militarisation activities” in the region.
“It is building its military, and that’s why I’ve made it clear that I am not prepared to trade certain items with China,” he said.
“We’ve now got commitment from all of our allies that they’re not going to do that either, provide that kind of material.
“But that’s not a hostile act, that’s an act that says, ‘we’re going to make sure that we do everything we can to maintain the status quo’.”