Wednesday August 17th, 2022 9:42PM

Xi gives Biden fiery warning on Taiwan, Beijing says

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping spent more than two hours Thursday talking through the future of their complicated relationship, with the flashpoint of Taiwan once again emerging as a key point of tension.

According to an outline of the call released by Beijing, Xi emphasized China's claim over the island, which has governed itself for decades.

“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this."

The White House released its own description of the conversation about Taiwan, saying that 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.”

The goal of the call, which began at 8:33 a.m. EDT and ended at 10:50 a.m. EDT, was to “responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align,” the White House said.

As usual, China left no doubt that it blames the U.S. for the deteriorating relationship between the two countries.

“President Xi underscored that to approach and define China-US relations in terms of strategic competition and view China as the primary rival and the most serious long-term challenge would be misperceiving China-U.S. relations and misreading China’s development, and would mislead the people of the two countries and the international community,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The call took place as Biden aims to find new ways to work with China and contain its influence around the world. Differing perspectives on global health, economic policy and human rights have long tested the relationship — with China's refusal to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine adding further strain.

The latest pressure point has been House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan, which has a democratic government and receives informal defensive support from the U.S., but which China considers part of its territory. Beijing has said it would view such a trip as a provocation, a threat U.S. officials are taking with heightened seriousness in light of Russia's incursion into Ukraine.

“If the U.S. insists on going its own way and challenging China’s bottom line, it will surely be met with forceful responses,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, told reporters earlier this week. “All ensuing consequences shall be borne by the U.S.”

Pelosi would be the highest-ranking U.S. elected official to travel to Taiwan since Republican Newt Gingrich visited the island in 1997 when he was House speaker. Biden last week told reporters that U.S. military officials believed it was “not a good idea” for the speaker to visit the island at the moment.

John Kirby, a U.S. national security spokesman, said Wednesday that it was important for Biden and Xi to regularly touch base.

“The president wants to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi remain open because they need to,” Kirby told reporters at a White House briefing. “There are issues where we can cooperate with China on, and there are issues where obviously there are friction and tension.”

Biden and Xi last spoke in March, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“This is one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world today, with ramifications well beyond both individual countries,” Kirby said.

Biden has moved to shift U.S. reliance off Chinese manufacturing, including final congressional approval Thursday of legislation to encourage semiconductor companies to build more high-tech plants in the U.S.

He also wants to marshal global democracies to support infrastructure investments in low- and middle-income nations as an alternative to China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” which aims to boost China's trade with other global markets.

Biden has kept in place Trump-era tariffs on many Chinese-manufactured goods in order to maintain leverage over Beijing. But he is weighing whether to ease at least some of them to lessen the impact of soaring inflation on American households.

U.S. officials have also criticized China's “zero-COVID” policy of mass testing and lockdowns in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in its territory, labeling it misguided and fretting that it will further slow global economic growth.

Other points of strain include China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims, which the U.S. has declared a genocide, its militarization in the South China Sea and its global campaign of economic and political espionage.


Associated Press writers Ken Moritsugu and Joe McDonald contributed from Beijing.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2022
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Xi gives Biden fiery warning on Taiwan, Beijing says
President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for more than two hours on Thursday amid rising tensions between their two nations
1:12PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Monarch butterflies are in trouble; Here’s how you can help
The monarch butterfly was categorized by scientists last week as endangered
1:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Mega Millions jackpot now $1.1 billion, nation's 3rd largest
One of the nation’s biggest lottery prizes has grown a little bigger as the Mega Millions jackpot increased to an estimated $1.1 billion
1:01PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Heavy rains cause flooding, power outages in Appalachia
Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia
12:21PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Temperatures could hit triple digits again in Northwest
Heat wave duration records could be broken in the Pacific Northwest this week and authorities are expanding capacity at some cooling centers as temperatures near triple digits are forecast to extend into the weekend
12:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
No bond for accused rapist of girl who traveled for abortion
A judge has ordered no release for a man accused of raping and impregnating a 9-year-old Ohio girl who traveled to Indiana for an abortion
12:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
A richer, stronger China warns Pelosi not to visit Taiwan
In 1997, Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan
10:38AM ( 2 hours ago )
Stocks decline as GDP report raises fears of recession
Stocks are falling early Thursday as investors react to news that the U.S. economy shrank for a second consecutive quarter
10:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
US economy shrank 0.9% last quarter, its 2nd straight drop
The U.S. economy shrank from April through June for a second straight quarter, contracting at a 0.9% annual pace and raising fears that the nation may be approaching a recession
9:43AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Energy on the table, Macron hosts Saudi prince for dinner
French President Emmanuel Macron is planning to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to his presidential palace and offer him dinner
11:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
'Rescind the Doctrine' protest greets pope in Canada
Pope Francis has come face-to-face with a long-standing demand from Indigenous peoples during his Canada pilgrimage
11:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Italy's president: Strong democracy crucial against fascism
Italy's president is urging Italians to reinvigorate their democracy as the country notes the 100th anniversary of an attack that paved Benito Mussolini's path to power
11:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Judge: Wisconsin probe found 'absolutely no' election fraud
A Wisconsin judge says that a Republican-ordered, taxpayer-funded investigation into the 2020 election found “absolutely no evidence of election fraud,” but did reveal contempt for the state’s open records law by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and a former state Supreme Court justice he hired
12:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Southwest posts record revenue but warns of rising costs
Southwest Airlines is reporting higher profit and record revenue, but its shares are down because of concern over rising costs
11:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
Altria's $13B investment in Juul e-cigarettes vaporizes
Altria reports its nearly $13 billion investment in troubled vaping company Juul is worth 95% less than it originally paid
11:20AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Xi, Biden to speak as possible Pelosi Taiwan visit looms
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
5:35AM ( 1 day ago )
Civilian medic commands respect on Ukraine war's front lines
The founder of a medical nonprofit organization drives all over Ukraine's Donetsk region to deliver first-aid kits, equipment and training to soldiers and paramedics near the front lines of Russia's war in Ukraine
12:43PM ( 2 days ago )
Medic in heels commands respect on Ukraine's front lines
Close to the front lines of Russia’s war in Ukraine, a woman who wears high heels and dresses is a familiar sight at Ukrainian field positions and hospitals
8:29AM ( 2 days ago )
AP World News - International incidents
Wall Street points down after rate hike, ahead of GDP report
Wall Street is pointing toward a modestly lower open following the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike
8:12AM ( 5 hours ago )
US economy likely grew modestly, if at all, last quarter
After going backward from January through March, the U.S. economy probably didn’t do much better in the spring
7:14AM ( 6 hours ago )
US not yet in recession and 4 other takeaways from the Fed
Jerome Powell delivered a tough message at the start of a news conference Wednesday: Inflation is way too high, and the Federal Reserve is laser-focused on taming it with higher borrowing costs
7:12AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Monarch butterflies are in trouble; Here’s how you can help
The monarch butterfly was categorized by scientists last week as endangered
1:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Mega Millions jackpot now $1.1 billion, nation's 3rd largest
One of the nation’s biggest lottery prizes has grown a little bigger as the Mega Millions jackpot increased to an estimated $1.1 billion
1:01PM ( 19 minutes ago )
PBS series, AP detail toll of Russian invasion of Ukraine
Two documentaries detailing the punishing effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine will air on PBS’ “Frontline” investigative series
12:52PM ( 28 minutes ago )
For whom the Bell tolls: Nats' Josh Bell is top trade target
Juan Soto could be the biggest star dealt before the Major League Baseball trade deadline if the Washington Nationals choose to make that move
12:39PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Q&A: Melissa Barrera survives, on screen and in Hollywood
Since her breakthrough role as Vanessa in the film adaptation of “In The Heights,” Melissa Barrera has been working non-stop on the big and small screen
12:32PM ( 47 minutes ago )