WASHINGTON, Oct.5 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan and that they had agreed to honor the Taiwan agreement, as tensions escalated between Taipei and Beijing.
“I spoke with Xi from Taiwan. We agree (…) we will respect the Taiwan agreement,” he said. “We’ve made it clear that I don’t think he should do anything other than stick to the deal.”
Biden appeared to be referring to Washington’s long-standing “one-China policy” under which it officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes it clear that the United States’ decision to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing instead of Taiwan is based on the hope that Taiwan’s future will be determined by peaceful means.
The comments to reporters at the White House – made after Biden returned from a trip to Michigan touting a spending program – come amid an escalation in Taiwanese relations.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory, which should be taken by force if necessary. Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy, blaming China for the tensions.
Taiwan has reported 148 Chinese Air Force planes in the southern and southwestern parts of its air defense zone over a four-day period starting Friday, the same day China marked a patriotic holiday. key, the national holiday.
The United States urged China on Sunday to cease military activities near Taiwan.
“The United States is very concerned about the provocative military activity of the People’s Republic of China near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations and undermines regional peace and stability,” the spokesperson said on Sunday. State Department word, Ned Price.
Biden also appeared to be referring to a 90-minute call he held with Xi on September 9, their first talks in seven months, in which they discussed the need to ensure that competition between the two largest economies in the world does not degenerate into conflict.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing and additional reporting by Alexandra Alper and David Brunnstrom Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler
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