World: China says Xi warned Biden not to 'play with fire' as tensions mount over Taiwan and a possible Pelosi visit

Taiwan Conducts Air Raid Drills Amid China Tension, Potential Pelosi Visit

  Taiwan Conducts Air Raid Drills Amid China Tension, Potential Pelosi Visit While the Biden administration hasn't embraced the House speaker's visit to the self-governing island, Republicans have pressed for her to make the trip.The self-governing island on Monday kicked off its Han Kuang military exercises, an annual five-day event simulating an invasion by China. While Taiwan's drills were previously planned, Pelosi's possible visit comes amid heightened tensions with Beijing and has drawn strong reactions in both the U.S. and China.

A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a virtual meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden via video link, at a restaurant in Beijing, China November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang © REUTERS/Tingshu Wang A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a virtual meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden via video link, at a restaurant in Beijing, China November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
  • China's Xi delivered a fresh warning to Biden as the two leaders held their fifth call on Thursday.
  • An official statement on the call said that Xi warned Biden not to "play with fire."
  • Tensions between the two countries have increased in recent months over Taiwan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a fresh warning to President Joe Biden over Taiwan as tensions continue to mount between the two countries, according to a statement run by Chinese state media and Chinese diplomatic outposts.

Xi, Biden to speak as possible Pelosi Taiwan visit looms

  Xi, Biden to speak as possible Pelosi Taiwan visit looms BEIJING (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden is planning to speak with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time in four months, with a wide range of bilateral and international issues on the table. But a potential visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is looming over the conversation set for Thursday, with China warning of a severe response if she travels to the self-governing island democracy Beijing claims as its own territory.

A statement posted on the website of the Chinese embassy in the US said that the two leaders — who held their fifth call on Thursday — discussed Taiwan, the self-ruled democratic island at the center of strained US-China relations.

"The position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan question is consistent, and resolutely safeguarding China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people," China said in the statement.

"Public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this," the statement said.

Tensions between the US and China have increased in recent months over Taiwan, which Beijing has long claimed as its own and has signaled that it is willing to use force to subdue. China on Thursday said Xi "firmly opposes" Taiwan's independence and any "interference by external forces."

Pelosi to Taiwan would be career capstone, despite warnings

  Pelosi to Taiwan would be career capstone, despite warnings WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched her political career being tough on China -- a new congresswoman who dared to unfurl a pro-democracy banner in Beijing's Tiananmen Square during a 1991 visit with other U.S. lawmakers shortly after the student massacre. More than 30 years later, her interest in traveling to Taiwan presents a powerful diplomatic capstone. It has also contributed to tensions at the highest levels in Washington and Beijing among officials who worry a trip could prove provocative. As the U.S. balances its high-stakes relations with China, whether Pelosi will lead a delegation trip to Taiwan remains unknown.

Currently elevating tensions is a potential trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — a tentative move that has sparked Chinese threats of possible military action and plans for the movement of US military assets. The US Navy has moved an aircraft carrier and its strike group escorts into the South China Sea.

Joe Biden To Make Most Important Call of Presidency to China's Xi Jinping

  Joe Biden To Make Most Important Call of Presidency to China's Xi Jinping The leaders of the two major powers will talk over existing frictions as well as new uncertainties thrown up by Nancy Pelosi's travel plans.The competitive nature of the contemporary relationship has left many fearing a mishap in Asia, one that could spark a wider conflict with global consequences. Crisis management between the two militaries therefore will be high on the agenda for the talks, their fifth in the last 18 months and the latest since March.


Video: Don't 'play with fire' over Taiwan, China's Xi warns in call with Biden (Reuters)

Senior Pentagon officials have warned in recent weeks that Chinese military behavior around the South China Sea and elsewhere in the region has becoming increasingly "dangerous" and "unsafe," warning of the potential for a "major incident or accident."

The White House released its own statement on the call between Biden and Xi, noting that "the two presidents discussed a range of issues important to the bilateral relationship and other regional and global issues."

"On Taiwan," it read, "President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

Biden has previously been accused of undermining the US government's longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity regarding Taiwan. For years, the US has been intentionally opaque about whether it would respond militarily if China attacked Taiwan, but Biden, on more than one occasion, has suggested that the US would indeed come to Taiwan's defense, frustrating China and leading the White House to walk back his comments and claim there's been no change to US policy.

Some China watchers say that Biden's muddled approach to the issue has escalated the contentious dynamic in the region, and between Washington and Beijing more generally.

"Longstanding US 'strategic ambiguity' has given way to strategic confusion. President Biden's misstatements on Taiwan are undermining the carefully devised policy that has kept the peace for decades," Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the US, and Zack Cooper, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said in a New York Times op-ed Thursday.

"A single spark," Glaser and Cooper warned, "could ignite this combustible situation into a crisis that escalates to military conflict."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Joe Biden To Make Most Important Call of Presidency to China's Xi Jinping .
The leaders of the two major powers will talk over existing frictions as well as new uncertainties thrown up by Nancy Pelosi's travel plans.The competitive nature of the contemporary relationship has left many fearing a mishap in Asia, one that could spark a wider conflict with global consequences. Crisis management between the two militaries therefore will be high on the agenda for the talks, their fifth in the last 18 months and the latest since March.

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