Analysts Discuss Xi Jinping-Biden Talks
A two-hour “in-depth and candid” phone call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping made no tangible progress on key political issues brought. Bilateral relations between Washington and Beijing remain at an impasse due to escalating tensions over Taiwan and other problems.
Credit: Global Look Press
Thursday's phone calls marked the fifth time China and the United States have spoken since Biden took office, and marked the latest attempt to keep US-China relations from deteriorating by ” maintaining open lines of communication to ensure the United States and China can manage our differences,” said a senior US administration official.
As noted by Politico, the most pressing issue for the parties has been managing tensions over Taiwan, which have risen sharply over the alleged visit of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to the island.
According to the Chinese side, Xi Jinping criticized Biden for alleged US violations of three US-China communiqués outlining Washington's relationship with Taiwan. Beijing's interpretation of the conversation contained a veiled threat to anyone trying to develop the theme of Taiwanese independence: “Those who play with fire will die from it.”
Half an hour after the talks concluded, Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington , posted on social media a video featuring what Politico describes as “Chinese Communist Party propagandist from Shanghai” New Zealander Andy Borham. The video is titled “Taiwan is not a country and Nancy Pelosi should stay away.”
Experts in both the US and China believe that Pelosi's alleged trip to Taiwan looks like an unjustified inflammatory gesture that will only worsen US-China relations.
“Her presence in Taipei will not highlight any points that the United States would not have been announced lately and repeatedly…and distracts both sides from efforts to shape and stabilize their dangerous relationship,” said Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute for China and the United States at the Wilson Center.
If anyone tries to separate the island of Taiwan from the country, if anyone wants to challenge China's red lines, then the Chinese military will take decisive action to firmly protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity, China's ambassador to the United States said at a recent event.
According to the Chinese edition of Global Times, the Chinese diplomat made such a statement at a reception on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army of China. The Taiwan issue has always been the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations, the ambassador said, noting that the Chinese government values peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and is making every effort for peaceful reunification.
However, the separatist “independence” forces Taiwan” and their activities pose the greatest threat to peace and stability on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, said the Chinese representative.
Tensions over the issue have escalated in recent days, with China issuing a string of warnings about US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's unconfirmed plan to visit Taiwan. China's defense ministry vowed on Tuesday that if the US insists on intervention, the Chinese military will by no means sit idly by and strong measures will be taken to thwart any outside interference and separatist attempts at “Taiwan independence.”
Commenting on the talks between Xi Jinping and Biden, Chinese experts said that American politicians who intended to “play with fire” on the Taiwan issue will feel strong pressure after the conversation between the two leaders.
“The phone call shows that China always refused to view Sino-American relations as competitive, as this would only lead to more tragedies. It is clear that the U.S. attitude towards Sino-U.S. relations as competitive has led to obvious misjudgments,” a foreign affairs expert told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.
And Yang Xiyu, a senior fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that after Xi and Biden's phone call, the focus should be on whether Pelosi goes to Taiwan after all.
“If Pelosi drops his plan to visit Taiwan, it will be a major achievement in the talks between the two presidents and will stabilize Sino-US relations, sending a strong and positive message to the world. But if she insists on the implementation of the plan, it will cause great damage to Sino-US relations and introduce great uncertainty into the global political and economic situation, ”the Chinese expert says.
Biden and Pelosi disagree on a possible trip speaker of the House of Representatives to the island, as Pelosi thinks about the upcoming United States midterm elections and his own political interests, and Biden must see the situation from the point of view of the White House and be responsible for US national interests, analysts say.
But experts also warned that Beijing should not place too high hopes on the American side in terms of limiting Pelosi's behavior, since the US has proven many times that it cannot keep its word, even when it has openly made promises to China again and again, so preparations for worst-case scenario, especially military training, is the best way for China to prevent prevent or contain the deterioration of the situation, writes the Global Times.