Biden and Xi clash over Taiwan in Bali but Cold War fears cool

  • Biden and Xi will meet for 3 hours before the G20
  • Both leaders stress the need to normalize relations
  • Indonesia seeks global economic partnership at G20
  • Ukraine’s Zelensky spoke at the G20 on Tuesday

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Nov 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held blunt talks on Monday on Taiwan and North Korea, in a three-way summit aimed at preventing tensions between the U.S. and China from escalating into a new relationship. had a meeting. Cold War.

The two leaders vowed to communicate more frequently amid disagreements over human rights, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and support for domestic manufacturing. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will travel to Beijing for further talks.

“We’re going to have a strong competition, but I’m not looking for conflict, I’m looking for responsible management of that competition,” Biden said after talks with Xi at the G20 summit in Indonesia.

Beijing has long announced that it will take control of the independent island of Taiwan, which it considers an inalienable part of China, and has not ruled out the use of force to do so. In recent years, the United States has often been accused of supporting Taiwan independence.

In a statement after the meeting, Xi called Taiwan the “first red line” in US-China relations that should not be crossed.

Biden said he wanted to prove to Xi that US policy on Taiwan, which has supported Beijing’s “One China” stance and Taiwan’s military for decades, has not changed.

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He said there was no need for a new cold war and he did not think China was planning a hot war.

“I don’t think China is going to try to invade Taiwan,” he told reporters.

Regarding North Korea, Biden said it was difficult to know whether Beijing had any influence on Pyongyang’s weapons tests. “First of all, it’s hard to say that China is confident that it can handle North Korea,” he said.

Biden told Xi the United States would do what it had to do to protect itself and its allies South Korea and Japan, which was not directed at him but “might be more in front of China.”

“We’re going to have to take some more defensive actions on our behalf to send a clear message to North Korea. We’re going to protect our allies, as well as American territory and American capabilities,” he said.

Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said before the meeting that Biden would warn Xi about the possibility of increased US military presence in the region, which Beijing does not want to see.

After U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi upset China with a visit to Taiwan in August, Beijing suspended several official talks with Washington, including climate change and military talks.

Biden and Xi agreed to give senior officials an opportunity to renew communications on climate, the debt burden and other issues, the White House said after the speech.

In a statement after the talks, Xi issued a warning about Taiwan.

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“The Taiwan issue is the core of China’s fundamental interests, the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line of China-US relations must not be crossed,” Xi was quoted as saying. news agency.

“Resolving the Taiwan issue is a matter for China and China’s internal affairs,” Xi Jinping said, according to state media.

Taiwan’s democratically elected government rejects Beijing’s claims of independence.

Taiwan’s presidential office said it appreciated Biden’s reaffirmation of US policy. “This once again shows that the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait is the common expectation of the international community,” he said.

A SMILE AND A HANDSHAKE

The two leaders smiled and warmly shook hands in front of their national flags at a hotel in Bali, Indonesia, ahead of their talks, a day before the Group of 20 (G20) summit, which comes amid tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s great to see you,” Biden said as he hugged Xi before meeting him.

According to the White House, Biden discussed a number of difficult topics during his meeting with Xi, including China’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions against Taiwan, Beijing’s “non-market economic practices” and “Xinjiang, Tibet… Hong Kong, human rights”. rights are considered in a broader context.”

None of the leaders wore masks to protect against COVID-19, even if members of the delegation did.

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In recent years, US-China relations have been strained by tensions over issues such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, the South China Sea, trade practices and US restrictions on Chinese technology.

But U.S. officials say Beijing and Washington have quietly tried to restore ties over the past two months.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters earlier in Bali that the meeting was aimed at stabilizing relations and creating a “clearer climate” for US businesses.

He said Biden has spoken clearly with China about national security concerns over US restrictions on sensitive technologies and expressed concern about the reliability of China’s raw material supply chain.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the host of the G20 summit, said he hoped Tuesday’s meeting would “build concrete partnerships that will help revive the global economy.”

But one of the main topics of the G20 meeting will be Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Xi and Putin have grown close in recent years and their distrust of the West has deepened, reaffirming their cooperation just days before Russia invaded Ukraine. But China is wary of any direct material support that could trigger Western sanctions.

Reporting by Nandita Bose, Stanley Vidianto, Francisca Nangoi, Leika Kihara, David Loder and Simon Lewis in Nusa Dua, Yu Lun Tian and Ryan Wu in Beijing; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland in Washington; Written by Kay Johnson and Raju Gopalakrishnan; Edited by Angus McSwan, Grant McCool, Heather Timmons and Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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