US, China Trade Taiwan Warnings Ahead of Biden-Xi Summit

FILE – Two Chinese SU-30 fighter jets take off from an unspecified location to fly a patrol over the South China Sea, in this undated photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency. (Photo credit: AP)

WASHINGTON — The top diplomats from China and the United States have exchanged stern warnings over the flashpoint issue of Taiwan, ahead of Monday’s hotly awaited summit between their leaders.

The virtual meeting of Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping comes against a backdrop of rising tensions — in part over Taiwan, a self-ruling democracy claimed by Beijing, but also over trade, human rights and other issues.

In a phone call Friday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss preparations for the summit, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns over Beijing’s “military, diplomatic, and economic pressure” on Taiwan.

Wang warned of the dangers of US actions that might seem supportive of “Taiwan independence.”

Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but an act of Congress passed that year requires the United States to provide weapons to Taiwan for self-defense.

The US government is careful not to show it recognizes Taiwan but it enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, with a group of lawmakers visiting the island this month — angering Beijing.

“Any connivance of and support for the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces undermines peace across the Taiwan Strait and would only boomerang in the end,” Wang told Blinken, according to a readout of the call released by China on Saturday.

China has ramped up military activities near Taiwan in recent years, with a record number of planes intruding into the island’s air defense identification zone in early October.

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About Cholo Brooks 16097 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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