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Biden warned by Chinese dictator not to 'play with fire' over Taiwan

Chinese dictator Xi Jinping spoke by phone this Thursday (28) with US President Joe Biden and urged the United States to “accept the principle of ‘ one China’”, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

In recent days, tensions between Washington and Beijing have increased in the context of the possible trip to Taiwan by the Speaker of the House of US Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

During the telephone conversation, the first since March, the Chinese dictator reiterated China’s opposition to “Taiwan independence” and “external interference”. According to Chinese state media, Xi reportedly warned: “Whoever plays with fire ends up getting burned.”

This week, a Chinese army spokesman warned the US that the Asian country’s forces “ will not stand idly by” if the visit takes place and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently reiterated that China would “respond firmly”.

To date, neither Nancy Pelosi nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taiwanese foreigners confirmed the trip, which would take place in August, according to the American press.

During the conversation between the two leaders, which lasted more than two hours, the Chinese dictator warned Biden that “defining the relations between the two countries from a competitive perspective is misleading and wrong.”

Xi expressed his hope that the two superpowers “keep in communication on important issues such as macroeconomic policy coordination, maintaining stability of industrial supply chains and securing global energy and of food security.”

In addition, the Chinese leader warned Biden that “decoupling supply chains will not help boost the US economy.”

Likewise, Xi recommended that the two countries “work together” to “cool down the most pressing regional issues” and “help the world emerge from the Covid-pandemic 19, stagnation and of the risk of recession.”

Xi and Biden, who have not yet met in person since the latter’s arrival at the White House, described their dialogue as “frank and deep” and agreed to “keep in touch” .

This was the second conversation between the two leaders since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a topic that was also discussed in this Thursday’s conversation, although Beijing only reports that Xi Jinping “reiterated the China’s position” on the matter.

Since the beginning of the war, China has maintained an ambiguous position, calling for respect for the “territorial integrity of all countries”, including Ukraine, and attention to the “legitimate concerns of all countries”, referring to Russia.

In a note, the White House informed that this Thursday the two leaders “discussed a series of important issues for the bilateral relationship and other regional and global issues, and charged their teams to continue moving forward with today’s conversation, in particular to address climate change and health security.”

“On Taiwan, the President Biden stressed that US policy has not changed and that the US strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the statement added.

Deteriorated relations

Relations between the two countries began to deteriorate in 2018, when then US President Donald Trump began a trade war with China that was later extended to fields such as technology and diplomacy.

Over the past year, tensions s have intensified across the Taiwan Strait as a result of increased incursions by Chinese planes into Taiwan’s self-defined aerial identification zone (ADIZ) and because Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has admitted that the US has a military presence on the island, something what Beijing described as “a provocation”.

Taiwan, with which the US has no official relations, is one of the main sources of conflict between the two superpowers, mainly because Washington is the main supplier of weapons for the island and would be its biggest military ally in the event of conflict with the Asian giant.

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