President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will hold a virtual summit on Monday.
The United States has warned China of its pressure on Taiwan, the State Department said on Saturday as the two powers gird themselves for a much-anticipated summit.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Foreign Minister Wang Yi and “expressed concern about the continued military, diplomatic and economic pressure from the PRC against Taiwan,” the ministry said in a statement.
President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will hold a virtual summit in Washington on Monday evening.
Blinken and Wang met Friday to discuss preparations for the summit, with the secretary, who reportedly urged Beijing to engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve the Strait’s problems peacefully in ways that accordance with the wishes and interests of the people of Taiwan. .”
Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated, partly over Taiwan, a self-governed democracy claimed by Beijing, but also over trade, human rights and other issues.
The Chinese military conducted a record number of raids on the island’s air defense zone last month.
Washington has repeatedly expressed its support for Taiwan in the face of what it has described as Chinese aggression.
The State Department said Monday’s summit “provides 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. “
Biden and Xi have spoken by phone twice since the veteran Democrat moved into the White House. The pair also met extensively when Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president, and Xi was Hu Jintao’s vice president.
Biden had hoped to meet Xi at a recent G20 summit in Rome, but the Chinese leader has not traveled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and instead agreed to virtual talks by the end of the year.
“I have repeatedly noted over the past ten months that the relationship with China is one of the most profound and also most complex we have,” Blinken said Friday.
“It has several elements – some cooperative, some competitive and others hostile and we will manage all three at the same time.”
Biden has largely kept Beijing from its predecessor Donald Trump, with both governments viewing an emerging China as the greatest challenge of the 21st century.
On Thursday, Xi warned of a return to Cold War-era divisions, in remarks at a virtual business conference on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
“Attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds will certainly fail,” he said.
“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and must not fall back into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era.”
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Published on: Sunday 14 November 2021, 16:11 IST