By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News, July 29, 2022
Chinese President Xi Jinping held a telephone conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden, the first since March 18. They discussed the topics of Ukraine, Taiwan and other issues of mutual interest of the countries, reported the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a statement on Thursday.
“The leaders exchanged views on a number of issues, in particular, on the topic of the Ukrainian crisis. Xi Jinping reiterated China’s principled position on this issue”, according to the statement.
The statement also said that Xi Jinping pointed out that “the position of the Chinese leadership and the people of the country on the Taiwan issue is firm, and that “the United States should respect the ‘one-China principle.'” Chinese President Xi Jinpingalso warned Joe Biden against “playing with fire” on Taiwan.
“Those who play with fire will burn in it themselves,” the statement said.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, U.S. President Joe Biden, for his part, said that “the world is going through an important time” and that people in all countries will “benefit” from cooperation between the United States and China.
“The U.S. hopes to maintain an open line of communication with China to strengthen mutual understanding and avoid misunderstandings, and will work with China where the interests of the two countries coincide, and at the same time properly resolve differences,” the statement said.
The Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry reported that the conversation was “detailed and frank.”
The conversation lasted 2 hours and 17 minutes. “The heads of the two states believe that the call was sincere and thorough, the parties agreed to maintain contacts,” said the China Central Television after the talks. Meanwhile, the published quotes from the speech of Xi Jinping indicate that the conversation was not only thorough, but also difficult.
“To perceive and define Sino-American relations in terms of strategic rivalry, as well as to look at China as the main rival and the most serious long-term problem is an incorrect assessment of Sino-American relations and an erroneous interpretation of China’s development,” would have said Xi Jinping according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, assured that “the United States opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine stability and peace around the Taiwan Strait.“
The reason for the next aggravation of the “Taiwan issue” was the plans of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress Nancy Pelosi to visit the island, which Beijing considers its integral part. The Communist China’s authorities have repeatedly warned at various levels: if the visit does take place, they will take “decisive measures” in response.
Against this background, the South China Morning Post reported that “both the United States and China are building up their military presence near the Taiwan Strait.”
De-escalation could probably come in the event of Nancy Pelosi’s clear refusal to travel to Taiwan. But the Speaker of the House of Representatives still does not give unequivocal answers to questions about whether she will visit the island.
Strategic cooperation in the Washington-Seoul-Tokyo triangle is also increasingly worrying Beijing, which is sure that the basis of everything is the desire of the United States to take control of the countries of the Indo-Pacific region. On June 29, when the trilateral meeting did take place, China’s permanent representative to the UN, Zhang Jun, declared the inadmissibility of NATO’s involvement in the affairs of the Asia-Pacific region. The diplomat warned against expanding the alliance to the east, so as not to sow the seeds of the conflict, as it happened, according to him, in Ukraine.
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