Biden eyes discussion on Taiwan with Xi, vows to make no concessions

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U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he expects to discuss Taiwan, trade and other issues with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a possible meeting during his upcoming trip to Asia, while vowing that he will not make any “fundamental concessions.”

Although there has been no official announcement of a bilateral meeting, Biden told a press conference that he wants to lay out with Xi “what each of our red lines are” and understand their “critical interests.”

He said he wants to “determine whether or not they conflict with one another, and if they do, how to resolve and how to work it out.”

The Biden administration is seeking to manage intensifying competition with China, which it labels as the “only competitor” with the intent and power to challenge the United States and the rule-based international order.

Biden has been repeatedly making remarks committing to the defense of Taiwan, in what can be seen as a deviation from Washington’s long-standing position of maintaining so-called strategic ambiguity regarding the use of military force in response to a Chinese attack on Taipei.

Biden told the press conference Wednesday that the “Taiwan doctrine has not changed at all,” apparently referring to the United States’ one-China policy, under which it recognizes Beijing as the sole legal government of China.

The United States switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but it has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan and supplies it with defensive weapons under an act passed by Congress that same year.

Asked if he would personally tell Xi that the United States is committed to defending Taiwan, Biden said, “I’m going to have that conversation with him.”

Biden is scheduled to depart Washington on Thursday for a trip to Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Expectations are growing that Biden will meet with Xi on the fringes of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies on the Indonesian island of Bali. The G20 summit will be held for two days from Tuesday.

The talks, if realized, would be their first in-person meeting since Biden took office in January last year.

Biden, meanwhile, said Wednesday he was told that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go to the G20 meeting.

The G20 groups Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey, along with the Group of Seven economies; Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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