China warns US on Taiwan ahead of Xi-Biden meet

Published on Nov 13, 2021 03:07 PM IST

China has asked the US not to send wrong signals to or support “Taiwan independence” hours after Beijing announced that President Xi Jinping will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2013. China has warned the US not to send wrong signals to or support “Taiwan independence” hours after Beijing announced that Xi Jinping will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden. (REUTERS)
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2013. China has warned the US not to send wrong signals to or support “Taiwan independence” hours after Beijing announced that Xi Jinping will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden. (REUTERS)
BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

China on Saturday warned the US not to send wrong signals to or support “Taiwan independence” hours after Beijing announced that President Xi Jinping will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden via video link on Tuesday morning.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with US President Joe Biden via video link on the morning of November 16 (Beijing Time),” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Saturday.

Soon after the announcement of the Xi-Biden meeting, senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi told US secretary of state, Anthony Blinken that “…any connivance of and support for the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces undermines peace across the Taiwan Strait and would only boomerang in the end”.

Wang made the remarks in a phone conversation with Blinken ahead of the two top leaders’ Tuesday summit.

According to a readout of the phone conversation released by the Chinese foreign minister, Wang, who is both state councillor and foreign minister, said if the US truly wants to safeguard peace across the Taiwan Strait, then it should clearly and resolutely oppose any “Taiwan independence” moves.

The US should abide by the solemn commitments it made in the “..three China-US joint communiques and put the one-China policy into action and stop sending wrong signals to the Taiwan independence forces,” Wang said.

Ties between US and Taiwan is one of the major bilateral problems between Beijing and Washington with the former consistently criticising the latter’s ties with Taipei, which the mainland sees as a breakaway region to be unified by force if required.

The statement from the Chinese foreign ministry said Wang and Blinken also exchanged views on issues including energy security, climate change and the Iranian nuclear issue, and agreed to maintain dialogue on responding to all kinds of global challenges.

On the upcoming meeting, Wang said it will be keenly followed by the whole world as it is of great significance not just for China-US relations, but also for international relations.

“The helmsmanship of the two heads of state plays a key role in steering bilateral relations,” he said.

Blinken was quoted as saying that both sides have made full preparation and are making progress. “The US side looks forward to sharing views on bilateral ties with the Chinese side during the meeting in the spirit of mutual respect and jointly send a strong message to the world,” Blinken told Wang Yi.

Besides fraught ties over a range of issues from trade ties to human rights and transparency over the origins of Covid-19 pandemic, Tuesday’s Xi-Biden meeting will take place in the backdrop of rapid developments in Afghanistan.

In September, Xi had told Biden during a phone conversation that the US’ China policy has resulted in serious difficulties in bilateral ties and runs counter to the fundamental interests of the two countries and the common interests of the world.

The conversation ended a seven-month gap in direct communication between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies but gave an indication of the existing problems in ties.

The only time the two had spoken before September was on February 12, which, incidentally, was also the first time they had spoken after Biden became the US President in January this year.

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