President Joe Biden assured reporters that Chinese President Xi Jinping would respect the “Taiwan agreement” after a phone call with the leader in September.
Tensions between China and Taiwan have increased recently as China ramped up incursions of Taiwan’s defense zone, with a record 52 warships entering the zone on Monday. Biden said he had “spoken with Xi about Taiwan” and “we agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement.”
China will not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty, rather maintaining strictly non-diplomatic relations with the island, Reuters reported.
Premier Su Tseng-chang said Tuesday that Taiwan “must be on alert” as China becomes “more over the top.” President Tsai Ing-wen warned of “catastrophic” consequences if the island’s democracy falls to Beijing.
“We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement,” Biden said. China has previously said an independent Taiwan “means war” and blamed the U.S., Taiwan’s most important supporter, for the incursions.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, a former Chinese ambassador to the U.S., in Zurich, Switzerland, this week amid the rising tensions. The White House described the meeting as merely an attempt to “responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.”
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