Biden and Xi talk about Taiwan, support for Russia and national security

Biden and Xi talk about Taiwan, support for Russia and national security
Biden and Xi talk about Taiwan, support for Russia and national security
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Television showing a summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping in 2021| Photo: EFE/EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

United States President Joe Biden told China’s dictator Xi Jinping, in the first telephone conversation between the two since July 2022, that he is concerned about Chinese support for Russia in the war in Ukraine.

“China is certainly a sovereign country that will make its own decisions about its relations, but we are very concerned about the direction this is taking,” senior White House officials told the press on Tuesday (2 ).

Washington officials said Biden intended to focus the conversation on the country’s concerns about Beijing’s support for Moscow’s war machine, which they said would have a long-term impact on European security.

The last face-to-face meeting between the two leaders was in November last year, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco (USA). Tuesday’s phone call was a way of keeping dialogue open to “responsibly manage” competition between the two countries and avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.

According to these sources, Russia was not the only point of friction Biden planned to address during the dialogue.

Also on the agenda was the importance of maintaining peace and stability both in the Taiwan Strait, an autonomous territory that Washington, in principle, would defend against a possible Chinese invasion, and in the resource-rich South China Sea, where Beijing has disputes. territorial relations with neighboring countries.

Biden highlighted the US defense of the “one China” policy and also expressed concern about “destabilizing actions” in the South China Sea, such as the March attack by several Chinese ships with water cannons on a Philippine ship in that dispute. region.

Washington is also pressing Beijing to use its influence over Iran to persuade the Persian country to convince the Houthi rebels, who are considered to be in its orbit, to stop their attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

“They are exacerbating regional tensions, instability and, of course, affecting trade flows. China must have a very direct interest in trying to limit these consequences,” the sources said.

Biden’s warnings to Xi were also raised at the bilateral level. Washington emphasized that it would continue to take measures to protect its national security and economic interests.

On March 25, for example, the US linked the Xi regime to a conspiracy to conduct cyberattacks against critical infrastructure, for which seven Chinese citizens were indicted. “We have made clear, both publicly and privately, that we will continue to take action to address threats to our national security arising from malicious cyber activity,” the sources said.

The Biden administration emphasized that no agreement was expected from this phone conversation, but that it was an update that had not been possible before due to the logistical difficulty of organizing it due to the large time difference between the US and China.

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Tags: Biden talk Taiwan support Russia national security

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