Biden-Jinping Virtual Meet | China CalsTaiwan Issue "Playing With Fire"

by GoNews Desk Nov 16, 2021 • 05:44 PM Views 1069

A virtual meeting was conducted between the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the President of the People’s republic of China, Xi Jinping, on November 16th. Both sides reiterate their commitment to better and more “honest” communication. The topics under discussion were handling the COVID pandemic, Uyghur Muslims, cyber security, and perhaps most significantly, the question of the self-ruled island of Taiwan which is claimed by China as a breakaway province and an integral part of the country.

During the four-hour long meeting which ended on 4.30 AM IST, Chinese president Xi Jinping also referred to Joe Biden as his “old friend”.

According to a Reuter’s report, Biden said to Jinping from the Roosevelt Room in the White House: “Maybe I should start more formally, although you and I have never been that formal with each other”.

Biden also said that the two leaders had "always communicated with one another very honestly and candidly” and “we never walk away wondering what the other man is thinking” indicating clarity and synergy in their communications.

The US President acknowledged that the US and China were competitors on the global stage but reiterated that “common sense guardrails” must be established to ensure that it does not spill over into a conflict.

Taiwan Flashpoint: Playing With Fire, Says China

Tensions between the US and China have been high even before Joe Biden assumed office. His predecessor in the White House, Doald Trump, had kicked off a ‘trade war’ with China as well. The Biden administration has also brought up sensitive topics such as the alleged mistreatment, mass incarceration, and cultural destruction of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang region of China, and more significantly, its increasingly aggressive claims over Taiwan.

Taiwan is a self-ruled island across the Taiwan strait from mainland China. It became the seat of the retreating Nationalist Kuomintang government of China after their defeat to the Communists in 1948, which led to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

The US considers Taiwan as a key defence and security partner in the Indo-Pacific region where China is being seen as a “threat” by the US-aligned bloc of countries that includes Australia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and India. In October this year, Biden seemed to state that the US would come to the military aid of Taiwan in the event of an invasion by the mainland.

That statement later had to be clarified but it has left a strong impression on Chinese politics and society. The state-run Global Times has run many editorials warning Taiwan on counting on the United States as a partner to resist ‘reunification’ with China. Xinhua news agency also issued a strong-worded statement saying that those seeking to use the Taiwan issue against China were “playing with fire and would get their fingers burned”

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