Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Xi issues horror warning to Biden about 'playing with fire' ahead of Pelosi Taiwan trip


The chilling warning comes after concerns mount over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential future visit to the Chinese-claimed island. 

Chinese state media reported how Mr Xi said the US should abide by the “one-China principle”.

“Those who play with fire will only get burnt,” Chinese state media quote Xi as telling Biden. “(We) hope the US side can see this clearly.”

The Chinese leader is said to have stressed he firmly opposes Taiwanese independence and interference of external forces.

US President Joe Biden spoke with Mr Xi during a two-hour phone call on Thursday. 

 

During the call, the Chinese President reportedly condemned the possible trip to the Chinese-claimed island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

A visit by the House speaker would be a dramatic, though not unprecedented, show of U.S. support for the island.

Mr Biden told Mr Xi US policy on Taiwan hadn’t changed and it still strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

This is the 100-mile-wide body of water separating the island from the mainland, a White House statement said.

Beijing has issued a series of warnings should Ms Pelosi visit the country. 

Taiwan has recently reported that it is facing increasing Chinese military and economic threats. 

While highlighting Taiwan, Chinese media also said Xi stressed the two leaders needed to maintain communication on macroeconomic policies, global supply chains, and safeguarding global food and energy security. 

White House officials commented on the call, saying it had a broad agenda including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which China has yet to condemn.

A US spokesperson said: “The call was a part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the PRC and responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align”.

During a previous phone call between the two leaders in March, Mr Biden warned of “consequences” if China gave material support to Russia during the war.

US law means the country has to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, and pressure has been mounting in Congress for more explicit support. 

Former UK national security adviser Lord Darroch welcomed the talks, but warned: “I still think there’s a chance of getting China in a position over the next few years where it’s a constructive member of the international community but I’m afraid there’s lots of scope to be worried about.”



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