Tuesday, 25 June 2024
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Joe Biden, Xi Jinping exchange warnings on US election and Taiwan

Joe Biden, Xi Jinping exchange warnings on US election and Taiwan


President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed Taiwan, artificial intelligence and security issues Tuesday in a call meant to demonstrate a return to regular leader-to-leader dialogue between the two powers.

The call, described by the White House as “candid and constructive,” was the leaders’ first conversation since their November summit in California produced renewed ties between the two nations’ militaries and a promise of enhanced cooperation on stemming the flow of deadly fentanyl and its precursors from China.

Xi told Biden that the two countries should adhere to the bottom line of “no clash, no confrontation” as one of the principles for this year.

“We should prioritize stability, not provoke troubles, not cross lines but maintain the overall stability of China-U.S. relations,” Xi said, according to China Central Television, the state broadcaster.

The roughly 105-minute call kicks off several weeks of high-level engagements between the two countries, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen set to travel to China on Thursday and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to follow in the weeks ahead.

Biden has pressed for sustained interactions at all levels of government, believing it is key to keeping competition between the two massive economies and nuclear-armed powers from escalating to direct conflict. While in-person summits take place perhaps once a year, officials said, both Washington and Beijing recognize the value of more frequent engagements between the leaders.

The two leaders discussed Taiwan ahead of next month’s inauguration of Lai Ching-te, the island’s president-elect, who has vowed to safeguard its de-facto independence from China and further align it with other democracies. Biden reaffirmed the United States’ longstanding “One China” policy and reiterated that the U.S. opposes any coercive means to bring Taiwan under Beijing’s control. China considers Taiwan a domestic matter and has vigorously protested U.S. support for the island.

Taiwan remains the “first red line not to be crossed,” Xi told Biden, and emphasized that Beijing will not tolerate separatist activities by Taiwan’s independence forces as well as “exterior indulgence and support,” which alluded to Washington’s support for the island.

Biden also raised concerns about China’s operations in the South China Sea, including efforts last month to impede the Philippines, which the U.S. is…

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