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The Biden administration is looking at the possibility of setting up an emergency direct hotline between the US and China, a new report alleges. Citing a US official and another source familiar with early conversations about the device, CNN reported Wednesday that the administration was pursuing an idea similar to that of the “red telephone” set up between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Moscow-Washington hotline — as it was also known, as there was never actually a red phone used for the communications — was established in 1963 under President John F. Kennedy. At the time, it allowed for a secure dialogue between the Pentagon and the Kremlin in an effort to avoid nuclear war between the feuding superpowers. A Biden-era “red telephone” is still in the concept phase, according to the network, and has not been formally raised with the Chinese. If implemented, the phone would be folded into what the network described as “a broader effort to reduce the risk of conflict between the US and China.” The hotline, according to the report, would allow the US commander-in-chief to immediately reach Chinese President Xi Jinping through encrypted phone calls or messages.

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