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Biden warns China on North Korea, clashes with Xi over Taiwan in Bali meeting

Biden warns China on North Korea, clashes with Xi over Taiwan in Bali meeting
  • Biden and Xi met for 3 hours before the G-20
  • Both leaders stress the need to put relations back on track
  • Indonesia seeks partnerships on global economy at G20
  • Ukrainian President Zelensky to address the G20 on Tuesday

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, November 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden warned President Xi Jinping on Monday that the United States would bolster its security position in Asia if Beijing could not rein in North Korea’s weapons programmes, during a meeting It lasted three hours. The two leaders also spoke of Taiwan in strong words.

At a news conference after his first personal talks with Xi since taking office in early 2021, Biden said they had sharp talks on a wide range of issues that contribute to the worst relations between the United States and China in decades.

But he said there was no need for a new cold war, and added that he did not think China was planning a hot war.

In a statement after their meeting, Chinese state media said that Xi called Taiwan the “first red line” that must not be crossed in US-China relations.

Biden said he sought to reassure Xi that US policy on Taiwan had not changed, seeking to calm tensions over the self-ruled island. “I don’t think there is any imminent attempt by China to invade Taiwan,” he told reporters.

Regarding North Korea, Biden said that if China is unable to rein in Pyongyang’s weapons programs, the United States will do more to protect US allies in the region.

Beijing suspended a series of official channels of dialogue with Washington, including on climate change and military talks, after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August.

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“The Taiwan issue is at the core of China’s core interests, the firm foundation of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. news agency.

Beijing considers Taiwan an inalienable part of China. The island’s democratically elected government rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims. Beijing has frequently accused the United States in recent years of encouraging Taiwan independence.

Biden said the two sides have set up a mechanism for more frequent contacts, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will travel to China to follow up on discussions. “I think we understand each other,” he said.

Smiles and hand bats

Ahead of their talks, the two leaders smiled and shook hands warmly in front of their national flags at a hotel on the Indonesian island of Bali, a day before a G20 summit set to be fraught with tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s great to see you,” Biden told Xi, putting an arm around him before their meeting.

Biden has brought up a number of difficult topics with Xi, according to the White House, including raising US objections to China’s “increasingly coercive and aggressive actions toward Taiwan,” Beijing’s “non-market economic practices,” practices in “Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Hong Kong rights.” man on a larger scale.

Neither leader wore a mask to ward off COVID-19, although members of their delegations did.

Xi said before the meeting that the relationship between the two countries did not meet global expectations, and the data afterwards reflected the ongoing disagreement.

“Resolving the Taiwan issue is an internal affair of China and China,” Xi was quoted as saying by state media.

“Anyone who seeks to separate Taiwan from China will violate the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation.”

Beijing has long said it would bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out the use of force to do so.

The presidential office in Taiwan said it welcomed Biden’s reaffirmation of US policy. “This once again fully shows that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is the common aspiration of the international community,” she added.

strained relationships

Relations between the United States and China have soured in recent years due to growing tensions over issues ranging from Hong Kong and Taiwan to the South China Sea, and US trade practices and restrictions on Chinese technology.

But US officials said there have been quiet efforts by both Beijing and Washington over the past two months to mend ties.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters in Bali earlier that the meeting was aimed at stabilizing the relationship and creating a “more assured atmosphere” for US companies.

She said Biden has been clear with China about national security concerns regarding restrictions on sensitive US technologies and has raised concerns about the reliability of Chinese supply chains of goods.

Biden and Xi, who have spoken in five phone calls or video calls since January 2021, met in person during the Obama administration when Biden was vice president.

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo, host of the G20 summit, said he hoped Tuesday’s meeting could “offer concrete partnerships that can help the world in its economic recovery”.

However, one of the main topics of the G-20 will be Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Linked to a common mistrust in the West, Xi and Putin have grown close in recent years, reasserting their partnership just days before Russia invaded Ukraine. But China was careful not to provide any direct material support that could lead to Western sanctions against it.

At the East Asia Summit in Cambodia on Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed the “irresponsibility” of nuclear threats, a senior US official said, indicating that China is not comfortable with Russia’s nuclear rhetoric.

The West accused Russia of making irresponsible statements about the possible use of nuclear weapons after its February invasion of Ukraine. Russia, in turn, accused the West of “provocative” nuclear rhetoric.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will address the G20 via video link on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Nandita Boss, Francesca Nangui, Lika Kihara, David Lauder, Simon Lewis in Nusa Dua, Yu Lun Tian and Ryan Wu in Beijing; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland in Washington. Written by Kay Johnson and Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Robert Purcell, Tom Hogg, Allison Williams, Angus McSwan, and Grant McCall

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.