“Those Who Play With Fire Will Get Burned”: Xi Told Biden About Taiwan
“Those Who Play With Fire Will Get Burned”: Xi Told Biden About Taiwan

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The state information company mentioned the 2 presidents considered their name as honest and profound. (file)


President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a “frank” telephone dialog on Thursday, with Xi warning the US chief to not “play with fire” in Taiwan, in accordance with Chinese state media .

The digital summit that lasted greater than two hours got here as Beijing and Washington more and more risked open battle over the sovereign island, which China considers a part of its territory.

“Those who play with fire will eventually burn,” Xi instructed Biden in reference to Taiwan, in accordance with the state-run Xinhua information company — utilizing the identical language he used once they spoke in November.

“I hope the US side fully understands that,” Xi instructed Biden.

“The position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan issue is consistent,” Xi mentioned. “The firm will of over 1.4 billion Chinese people to strictly safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Although this can be Biden’s fifth assembly with Xi since turning into president a yr and a half in the past, it’s turning into tough to cover the deepening distrust between the 2 nations amid the commerce battle and tensions over Taiwan.

The newest flashpoint is a attainable journey by Biden ally and speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to the island, which has its personal distinctive democratic authorities.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned “tensions over China’s aggressive, assertive behavior in the Indo-Pacific” can be excessive on the agenda — utilizing the US administration’s time period for the area of Asia-Pacific.

Although US officers usually go to Taiwan, which is separated by a slim strip of water from the Chinese mainland, Beijing considers a visit to Pelosi as a serious provocation. He is second in line to the US presidency and due to his place can journey by navy transport.

Washington will “accept the consequences” if the journey goes forward, which Pelosi has but to verify, China warned Wednesday.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the US joint chiefs of employees, instructed reporters that if Pelosi asks “for military support, we will do what is necessary to ensure a safe, secure conduct of their business.”

And the dispute round Pelosi is sort of an iceberg, with US officers fearing that Xi is contemplating utilizing pressure to impose management on democratic Taiwan.

Once thought-about unlikely, an invasion, or a lesser type of navy motion, is more and more seen by China watchers as attainable — maybe even timed to spice up Xi’s status when he strikes into the latter. of this yr within the third time period.

Biden’s conflicting feedback on whether or not the United States would defend Taiwan — he mentioned in May it might, earlier than the White House insisted there could be no change to the hands-off “strategic ambiguity” coverage — didn’t assist tensions.

not head to head

Biden has prided himself on an in depth relationship with Xi lately however — largely due to Covid journey restrictions — the 2 haven’t met face-to-face since he took workplace.

According to the White House, Biden’s principal aim is to ascertain “guardrails” for the 2 superpowers.

This is supposed to make sure that whereas they strongly disagree with democracy, and more and more turn into rivals on the geopolitical stage, they’ll keep away from open battle.

“He wants to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi on all the issues, whether they’re issues that we agree on again or issues that we’re struggling with — that they can still pick up the phone and talk to each other honestly,” Kirby mentioned.

Where to position the guardrails, nevertheless, is tough amid so many unresolved disputes, together with a simmering commerce battle that has been sparked beneath the presidency of Donald Trump.

Asked if Biden would take away a number of the 25 p.c import duties positioned on billions of {dollars} of Chinese items by Trump, Kirby mentioned no determination had been made but.

“We believe… that the tariffs that his predecessor put in place were poorly designed. We believe that they increased costs for American families and small businesses, as well as ranchers. And that is, you know, without actually addressing some of China’s harmful trade practices,” Kirby mentioned.

But “I haven’t made any decisions to talk about the president’s tariffs. He’s working on it.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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