President Xi Jinping of China has warned that promoting Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire” during a virtual meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden.
Since Mr. Biden assumed office in January, these are the most serious chats he’s had. Both sides stressed the importance of the two men’s relationship, and the meeting was an attempt to defuse tensions.
However, they were unable to avoid one of the most contentious issues: Taiwan, a self-governing island.
Taiwan is viewed by China as a breakaway province that will one day be reunited with the mainland.
China is recognised by the United States, and the two countries have formal ties. It has, however, promised to assist Taiwan in defending itself in the event of an invasion.
China’s state-owned media, Global Times, said, “Mr. Xi blamed recent tensions on continuous attempts by the Taiwan authorities to seek US support for their independence movement, as well as the intention of some Americans to use Taiwan to control China.”
According to the White House, “Mr. Biden strongly opposes unilateral actions to disrupt the status quo or threaten peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
The topic of climate change was also brought up. At negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, the two surprised everyone by issuing a joint agreement on climate change. Mr. Biden’s inauguration in January, the two leaders have spoken three times. The discussions lasted three and a half hours, which was longer than intended.
The relationship between China and the United States is critical for both parties and the rest of the globe, with Beijing regularly urging the new administration in Washington to mend relations that had deteriorated under Mr. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
Both men are dealing with domestic issues, with Mr. Biden’s poll numbers plummeting in the face of inflation, the threat of coronavirus, and the tumultuous Afghanistan pullout. Mr. Xi is dealing with energy constraints as well as a housing crisis.