Washington: Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his US counterpart, Joe Biden, not to ‘play with fire’ over Taiwan and asked the US to abide by the One China principle, during a video call between both leaders on Thursday.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this. The US should honour the one-China principle and implement the three joint communiques both in word and in deed.”
Xi stressed that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China and that China firmly opposes separatist moves toward “Taiwan independence”.
He said that the US should abide by the one-China principle, which is the political foundation for China-US relations, an official statement from the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry quoted Xi.
“China firmly opposes separatist moves toward ‘Taiwan independence’ and interference by external forces, and never allows any room for ‘Taiwan independence’ forces in whatever form”, Xi said, adding, “the position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan question is consistent, and resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
On contrary, US president Joe Biden said that the US does not support “Taiwan independence”.
“The United States policy has not changed, it strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” a White House statement quoted Biden.
The phone call between the two leaders comes after their conversation on March 18 and a series of conversations between high-level US and PRC officials.
Xi Jinping held the phone conversation with Biden at the request of the latter. This was the second talk since they had a video call in March.
The two Presidents had a candid communication and exchange on China-US relations and issues of interest.
According to a White House press pool, during the call, the two presidents discussed a range of issues important to the bilateral relationship and other regional and global issues and tasked their teams to continue following up on today’s conversation, in particular, to address climate change and health security.
“Today I spoke with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China as part of our efforts to deepen lines of communication, responsibly manage our differences, and address issues of mutual interest,” Biden tweeted.
Biden further said that the US hopes to keep an open line of communication with China to enhance mutual understanding and avoid misperception and miscalculation, and will work with China where the interests of the two countries align and, at the same time, properly manage differences.
Their fifth call since President Biden took office last year came amid heightened tensions among the geopolitical rivals.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a trip to Taiwan during the congressional recess in August that would make her the highest-ranking American politician since 1997 to visit the island.
Even the US President cast doubt on Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. Biden said the US military believes it is not a good idea for Pelosi to travel to Taiwan as planned.
“The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” Biden said on Wednesday as quoted by the White House press pool.
China has warned of “resolute countermeasures” if Pelosi proceeds with crossing its “red line.”