'Those who play with fire will perish by it': Xi Jinping warns Joe Biden over Taiwan
Warning US President Joe Biden against playing with fire, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted that the historical ins and outs of the Taiwan question are crystal clear.
Xi told Biden ''The fact and status quo that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and same China.''
Not allowing any room for “Taiwan independence” forces, Xi said China firmly opposes separatist moves toward it.
"On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," according to the White House.
With China’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, differing perspectives on global health, economic policy, and human rights have long tested the relationship between the world's two leading economies.
China has been on the offensive ever since reports emerged about US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan.
Since Republican Newt Gingrich visited the island in 1997, Pelosi would be the highest-ranking US elected official to travel to Taiwan.
Blaming the US for the deteriorating relationship between the two countries, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters that “If the US insists on going its own way and challenging China’s bottom line, it will surely be met with forceful responses.”
John Kirby, a US national security spokesman, told reporters at a White House briefing “The president wants to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi remain open because they need to.”
“There are issues where we can cooperate with China on, and there are issues where obviously there are friction and tension.”
“This is one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world today, with ramifications well beyond both individual countries,” Kirby said.
Jinping, who is seeking an unprecedented third term in office at a congress of China's ruling Communist Party, has an interest in avoiding escalation as per analysts.