The United States has warned China of its “military, diplomatic and economic pressure” on Taiwan, the State Department said on Saturday, ahead of a widely-awaited summit between the leaders of the two powers.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reminded his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi of “the long-standing US interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits”, a statement from the US side said.
Blinken urged Beijing to “engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve cross-strait issues peacefully and in a manner consistent with the wishes and best interests of the Taiwanese people.”
Beijing: US support for Taiwan will ‘boomerang’
Meanwhile, Wang warned about the dangers of US actions that may seem pro-Taiwan independence, which, he said, “undermines peace in the Taiwan Straits and will only boomerang in the end,” following calls from Beijing. According to a statement of Saturday.
Taiwan is a self-governing democratic island off the southeast coast of China, which Beijing claims as a province of the mainland. Chinese leaders have threatened to take any step towards formal independence by force.
The US government is careful to show that it recognizes Taiwan, but an act of Congress passed in 1979 requires the US to provide weapons to the island for self-defense.
China has intensified military activities near Taiwan in recent years, with a record number of aircraft infiltrating the island’s air defense detection area in early October.
The US has repeatedly signaled its support for Taiwan, in the face of what Washington described as a Chinese aggression.
Xi-Biden summit set for Monday
Amid rising tensions, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a virtual meeting on Monday evening in which Taiwan is expected to be high on the agenda with trade, human rights and other issues.
Biden has largely followed his predecessor Donald Trump’s tough stance on Beijing, whose administration sees a rising China as the top challenge of the 21st century.
US officials framed Monday’s summit as an opportunity to “responsibly manage competition” while trying to cooperate in areas where the two sides align.
White House officials said no major announcements were expected.
Xi’s COP26 absence noted
Biden criticized Xi earlier this month for failing to attend the G20 summit in Rome and the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, where world leaders discussed steps to mitigate the impact of climate change. Of.
“I think it’s a big mistake for China, quite frankly…not seeing,” Biden said. “Will the rest of the world look to China and say what value addition have they provided?”
However, both sides resolved to enhance their cooperation in Glasgow and intensify action to curb climate-harming emissions.