with fire – burn yourself, China warns US


President Xi sent a blunt message to Taiwan in a “candid” phone call with Biden

Taiwan is part of China, and the 1.4 billion Chinese will not tolerate any challenge to the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, President Xi Jinping said in a phone call to his US counterpart Joe Biden on Thursday. Xi’s warning comes amid reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preparing to visit the island next month, something Beijing has warned her about.

Xi “emphasizes that the historical ins and outs of the Taiwan issue are crystal clear, as is the fact and status quo that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China,” according to Beijing’s readout of Thursday’s call, also noting that Biden was the one who initiated it.

China strongly opposes Taiwanese separatism and will not tolerate it “independence” for the island “in whatever form”, Xi told Biden in the first direct conversation between the two leaders since March 18.

Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear on this.

According to the readout, Xi also told Biden that the US is approaching China as its main rival, strategic competitor and a security challenge “would misinterpret China-US relations and misinterpret China’s development,” adding that the US is trying to “disconnecting or breaking supply chains in violation of underlying laws” wouldn’t help the economy, but “Just make the global economy more vulnerable.”

China and the US must “to maintain the international system centered on the UN and the international order underpinned by international law”, said Xi, who also “repeated China’s principled position” on the crisis in Ukraine.

The White House’s much shorter readout of the call did not mention Ukraine or the specifics of economic discussions, instead addressing issues of “Climate Change and Health Security.” However, it said the call was: “part of the Biden administration’s efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the People’s Republic of China and to responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align.”

When it comes to Taiwan, Biden “Underlined that US policy has not changed and that the US strongly opposes unilateral attempts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” according to the White House.

Tensions between China and the US have escalated in recent weeks, following reports that D-California House Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to bring a congressional delegation to Taiwan in August.

Pelosi has neither confirmed nor denied the trip. When asked about it earlier this month, Biden said the US military thought so “Not a good idea at the moment.”

Since then, however, the Pentagon has reportedly “emergency plan” to send additional ships and fighter jets to the region. Meanwhile, Chinese officials threatened the US with: “unbearable consequences” should Pelosi continue her visit, and some experts even advocated attacking Taiwan in response to such a “provocation.”

House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan in 1997, but as government officials in Beijing have pointed out, he was opposition leader at the time, while Pelosi is of the same party as Biden.

Taiwan is ruled by the nationalist Kuomintang, who found refuge on the island after losing the civil war to the communists in 1949 and left the mainland with US help.

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