Xi says that mishandling Taiwan issues will hit the ties between China and the United States
Xi says that mishandling Taiwan issues will hit the ties between China and the United States

Xi says that mishandling Taiwan issues will hit the ties between China and the United States

Reuters

March 19, 2022 at 08.45

Last modified: March 19, 2022, at 09:15

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at the closing session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 10, 2022. REUTERS / Carlos Garcia Rawlins

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Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at the closing session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 10, 2022. REUTERS / Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on Friday that the Taiwan issue must be handled properly to avoid a negative impact on China-US relations, according to Chinese media.

China says that Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province to be brought back to the fold, by force, if necessary, is the most sensitive and important issue in its relations with the United States.

Washington, which is seeking Beijing’s help to restore peace in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion on February 24, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taipei, but is Taiwan’s main international supporter and arms supplier.

“Some individuals in the United States are sending the wrong signals to pro-independence forces in Taiwan, and that is very dangerous,” Xi told Biden in a video call.

“If the Taiwan issue is not handled properly, it will have a subversive impact on the relationship between the two countries.”

China sailed its aircraft carrier Shandong through the Strait of Taiwan, overshadowed by an American destroyer, on Friday, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, just hours before the Chinese and American presidents were to speak.

A White House statement said Biden reiterated in the call with Xi that US policy towards Taiwan has not changed, stressing that Washington “continues to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo.”

Over the past two years, China has stepped up its military activity near the island to assert its sovereignty claims.

“(We) hope the US side will pay enough attention to the issue,” Xi told Biden.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked Biden for his “emphasis on maintaining the status quo for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, as well as his firm support for Taiwan’s security”.

It called on China to take concrete measures and condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Taiwan, which rejects China’s sovereignty claims, has endorsed Western-led sanctions against Russia and has sent humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.

Xi also told Biden that the war in Ukraine must end as soon as possible, according to Chinese state media.

All parties should jointly support the Russia-Ukraine dialogue, while the United States and NATO should also negotiate with Russia to resolve the “core” of the Ukraine crisis, Xi said.


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