The planned summit between China and the United States has not started but hostilities have already started. Beijing and Washington exchanged stern warnings about Taiwan on Saturday, November 13, before a virtual summit scheduled for Monday between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden.
In an interview with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke “Expressed concern about the continued military, diplomatic and economic pressure of the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan”, according to a statement from the State Department.
MM. Biden and Xi are scheduled to meet for the third time Monday night Washington time, early Tuesday in Beijing, via video conference. The conversation between MM. Blinken and Wang was destined to prepare for this summit.
United States calls for “meaningful dialogue”
The head of American diplomacy has “Urged Beijing to engage in meaningful dialogue” to resolve its differences with Taipei “Peacefully and in a manner consistent with the wishes and interests of the people in Taiwan”, according to the State Department. Mr. Wang for his part warned the United States against any action that could be interpreted as support for “Taiwan independence”, according to a summary of the exchange released by the Chinese government. “Any connivance or support for the forces for the independence of Taiwan harms peace in the Taiwan Strait and can only boomerang back”, warned the Chinese foreign minister.
Tensions have escalated in recent weeks over Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a rebellious province that must return to its fold. China has stepped up its actions in recent years to isolate Taiwan on the international stage and stop any attempt to recognize the island as an independent state. Chinese authorities have also stepped up military activities near Taiwan. Washington, for its part, reiterated its commitment to help Taipei build and strengthen its defense.
Accumulation of litigation
The Biden-Xi summit takes place as disputes accumulate between Washington and Beijing, each of which is firm on their positions on trade or human rights. Monday’s summit “Is an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss [la manière de] responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, while working together in areas where interests align ”, estimated the State Department.
The American president has never hidden his desire to meet the Chinese leader in person, and did not hesitate to criticize his absence during the recent G20 and COP26 summits. But he must be satisfied with a virtual meeting with Xi Jinping, who has not left China for nearly two years, citing health reasons.