During a phone call that lasted more than two hours, the leaders of the US and China warned one another regarding Taiwan.
The US strongly opposed any unilateral attempts to alter the island’s status, President Joe Biden informed his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
The US stance on Taiwan, he continued, had not altered.
According to Beijing, Mr. Xi warned Mr. Biden that “anyone playing with fire would get burned” and urged him to uphold the one-China policy.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan, raising tensions on the issue.
The Chinese government has promised “serious consequences” if Ms. Pelosi travels, despite the state department’s assertion that she hasn’t made any travel arrangements.
The highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since 1997 would be Ms. Pelosi, who takes over as the vice president’s successor.
The phone conversation was described as “direct” and “honest” by a senior Biden administration official, who also noted that Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi had discussed scheduling a prospective in-person meeting.
Since Taiwan is viewed by China as a separatist province that must reconnect with the rest of the country, the prospect of using force to annex Taiwan has not been ruled out.
The one-China policy prevents Washington from diplomatically recognising Taipei. However, the US does provide the island, which is democratically self-governing, with weaponry so that it can defend itself.
Apart from Taiwan, the two leaders reportedly spoke about a variety of other topics, such as climate change and healthcare security, according to the White House.
The Biden administration has been debating whether to remove tariffs imposed on Chinese imports under Trump, believing that doing so would help to lower the US’s skyrocketing inflation. However, the senior US official claimed that the US president did not bring up that matter with Mr. Xi on Thursday.
Beijing asserted that many of their objectives did match over a much longer time frame. However, it put the focus at the US, criticising the Biden administration’s view of China as its “primary opponent” and “most severe long-term threat.”