Joe Biden says he and China’s Xi Jinping agreed to abide by Taiwan agreement
- US president appears to reiterate one-China policy that recognises Beijing but with expectation for Taiwan’s future to be resolved peacefully
- In apparent reference to call with Xi in September, he says US will stick to it and ‘I don’t think [Xi] should be doing anything other than abiding’
“I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,” he said. “We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement.”
Biden appeared to be referring to Washington’s long-standing one-China policy under which it officially recognises Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes clear that the US decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing instead of Taiwan rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.
Taiwan denounces mainland China for ‘over the top’ flights into island’s air defence zone
The comments to reporters at the White House – made after Biden’s return from a trip to Michigan touting a spending package – come amid escalations in the Taiwan-China relationship.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory, which should be taken by force if necessary. Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy, blaming China for the tensions.
The United States urged China on Sunday to stop its military activities near Taiwan.
“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilising, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” state department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Sunday.
Biden also appeared to be referencing a 90-minute call he held with Xi on September 9, their first talks in seven months, in which they discussed the need to ensure that competition between the world’s two largest economies did not veer into conflict.