Xi warns Biden against interference in Taiwan / by Morning Star

U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, Nov. 6, 2021, and China’s President Xi Jinping in Brasília, Brazil, Nov. 13, 2019.

CHINESE President Xi Jinping has warned his US counterpart Joe Biden against meddling in Beijing’s dealings with Taiwan, amid rising tensions over a potential visit to the breakaway island by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

There was no indication of any progress towards agreement on contentious issues such as trade and technology exports in a phone conversation between the two leaders on Thursday night, despite it lasting three hours.

Mr Xi also warned Mr Biden against splitting the world’s two biggest economies, according to a Chinese government summary of the call.

Economists warn that such a change, brought on by trade tensions and US restrictions on technology exports, might harm the global economy by slowing innovation and increasing costs.

The Chinese government gave no indication that Mr Xi and Mr Biden had discussed Ms Pelosi’s possible plans to visit Taiwan, which the ruling Communist Party says has no right to conduct foreign relations.

But the Chinese president rejected “interference by external forces” that might encourage Taiwan to try to formalise its decades-old separation from the mainland.

“Resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian insisted today. “Those who play with fire will perish by it.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said ahead of Thursday’s call that Washington “must not arrange for Pelosi to visit Taiwan.”

He warned that the People’s Liberation Army would take “strong measures to thwart any external interference.”

Mr Xi called on the US to “honour the one-China principle,” according to Mr Zhao, referring to Beijing’s position that the mainland and Taiwan form a single country.

By contrast, Washington’s “one-China policy” takes no position on the question but wants to see it resolved peacefully.

Tensions between the US and China were underlined again yesterday when the Chinese embassy in the Philippines blasted visiting US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro for criticising Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea.

Mr Del Toro accused China of encroaching on the sovereign waters of its Asian neighbours in violation of international law, to which the Chinese embassy replied that it was “navigation bullying” by US warships in the disputed waters that could spark confrontations.

Morning Star (UK), July 29, 2022, https://morningstaronline.co.uk/