Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Ahead of Xi-Biden summit, US expresses concern over Taiwan

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed concerns over China’s approach to Taiwan to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also calling for measures to ensure global energy supply, ahead of the upcoming talks between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on November 12 with PRC State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Secretary discussed preparations for President Biden’s upcoming virtual meeting with President Xi Jinping, noting the meeting presents an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss how to responsibly manage competition between the United States and the PRC while working together in areas where interests align,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a Saturday (local time) statement.

In the statement, Blinken urged Beijing to engage in dialogue to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully. “The Secretary emphasized longstanding U.S. interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and expressed concern regarding the PRC’s continued military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan,” Price said.

According to the State Department, Blinken also discussed with his Chinese counterpart the recovery of the global GDP in light of inflation and supply chain disruptions. Price said that Blinken “stressed the importance of taking measures to ensure global energy supply and price volatility do not imperil global economic recovery.”

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 15, virtually. “In the evening of Monday, November 15 in Washington, D.C., President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will meet virtually with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” said a statement of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

Biden has staked out a broader foreign policy strategy toward China that involves managing and succeeding in competition with China but avoiding conflict. Still, tensions between the US and China have flared on a variety of fronts, including Chinese military activity near Taiwan. At times, Biden’s firm line on China over human rights abuses and other practices has complicated his administration’s climate efforts. Disputes over commitments to tackle climate change are the latest flashpoint in tensions between the US and China.

Biden, in recent days, has rebuked China, saying President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip a United Nations climate summit was a “big mistake” because it would diminish Beijing’s influence. China subsequently hit back at America over the criticism.

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