President Xi Warns Biden Over Taiwan Independence Support

At a virtual summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his US counterpart that China was ready to take “decisive” action if Taiwan made any move crossing Beijing’s limits.

According to Chinese state media, Xi also warned US President Joe Biden that supporting Taiwan’s independence would be “like playing with fire,” adding that “those who play with fire will get burned.”

The comments were part of the most important conversations the two leaders have had since Biden took office in January this year.

While Xi and Biden emphasized their personal relationship, as the summit aimed to ease tensions between the two nations, one of the most sensitive issues was brought to the table. They ended up discussing the self-ruled island of Taiwan’s situation.

The United States has formal ties with China, which sees Taiwan as a separatist province that must be reunified with the mainland. However, the North American country has pledged to help Taiwan defend itself from any attack.

Xi said the recent tensions had been caused by the “repeated attempts by the Taiwan authorities to look for US support for their independence agenda as well as the intention of some Americans to use Taiwan to contain China,” China’s state-run Global Times reported. The Chinese president described such moves as “extremely dangerous.”

In response to Xi’s remarks, Biden said his government remained committed to the “one China policy” and that the US recognizes only one sovereign Chinese state.

Also, Washington “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” he added.

Biden also told the Chinese president that both administrations must ensure that the rivalry between the United States and China did not “veer into open conflict.”

Although both leaders reaffirmed their political positions regarding Taiwan, the meeting maintained a cordial tone. They began the summit by greeting each other warmly, with Xi saying he was happy to see his “old friend.”

Moreover, Xi stated that both nations needed to improve communication and cooperation in order to face multiple challenges together.

Besides discussing long-standing issues, Biden mentioned the White House’s concerns about human rights abuses in Hong Kong and against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. But China accused the US of meddling in its internal affairs.