Biden and Xi discuss Taiwan amid rising tensions between the two sides | Politics News
US President Joe Biden said he spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan after Beijing sent a record number of military planes to the Island’s Air Defense Zone (ADIZ) and Taiwanese officials had expressed their growing concern over the situation.
Asked by a reporter about “China’s provocation over Taiwan,” Biden said on Tuesday that he and Xi discussed the matter.
“I spoke with Xi (Chinese President Xi Jinping) from Taiwan,” Biden told the White House. “We agree, we will abide by the Taiwan Accord, and we’ve made it clear that I don’t think it should do anything other than abide by the Accord.”
Taiwan said it followed a record 56 Chinese planes in its ADIZ on Monday, in a series of military maneuvers that began on Friday, China’s National Day, and prompted the island to dispatch fighter jets. in response. Beijing has stepped up its cross-strait activities this year, with the number of recorded incidents set to double from 2020.
Although the United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with the autonomous island, which China claims as its own, it is required by law to protect Taiwan and is its greatest source of military and political support. Washington does not have a specific “agreement” with Beijing on cross-strait relations.
Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng on Wednesday said tensions between the two sides of the Strait were at their worst in 40 years, and warned that Beijing would be able to stage a full-scale invasion of the Democratic Island. by 2025.
President Tsai Ing-wen wrote earlier about the “catastrophic consequences” for the Asia-Pacific region if Taiwan were to fall into China’s hands.
“If its democracy and its way of life are threatened, Taiwan will do everything in its power to defend itself,” Tsai said in an article published Tuesday in the leading journal Foreign Affairs.
In response to Tsai’s article, China’s state-owned newspaper Global Times accused the president and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of turning Taiwanese democracy into an “extreme ideology.”
“Their fate is doomed to be a catastrophe when they attempt to separate Taiwan from (sic) China,” the Communist Party newspaper said in an op-ed that also disparaged the United States and the island’s western allies.
“The more the DPP authorities engage in collusion with outside forces, the closer they come to their grave. There is no force in the world whose will to ‘defend Taiwan’ is stronger than the will of China. China to fight secession and achieve reunification No force dares or wants to fight to the death against the world’s second largest economy, as well as a nuclear power, in order to prevent the reunification of China.
China blamed the United States for rising tensions, with the two economic giants at odds not only over Taiwan but over issues such as trade, Hong Kong, the situation in China’s far west region. Xinjiang and the coronavirus.
Earlier, the United States announced that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will meet with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerland on Wednesday for their first face-to-face discussion since acrimonious talks in Alaska in March, which also attended the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. .
The White House said in a statement that the meeting followed Biden’s call with Xi on September 9 “as we continue to seek to responsibly manage competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.” .
The call ended a nearly seven-month gap in direct communication between executives, and they discussed the need to ensure that competition between the two – with relationships falling to their lowest level in decades. decades – does not degenerate into conflict.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post quoted an official familiar with the arrangements from the Zurich meeting as saying that the aim is to “rebuild the channels of communication and implement the consensus reached” between Xi and Biden.
“It’s not a thaw. This is not a resumption of engagement, ”said Evan Medeiros, an Asia specialist under the administration of former President Barack Obama, of the Zurich meeting.
“It’s about becoming serious and systematic when it comes to competition. It means being very clear about the limits, our perceptions of their behavior, especially the recent number of airstrikes around Taiwan. “