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Friday, December 2, 2022

As tensions increase over Taiwan, Biden and Xi are scheduled to meet

A meeting between President Biden and President Xi Jinping of China is scheduled to take place on Monday, prior to the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia. Mr. Biden and his advisers have stated that the primary objective of this meeting will be to set expectations with the Chinese government in light of the escalating tensions caused by issues such as Taiwan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The meeting, which will be the first face-to-face encounter between the two since Mr. Biden assumed his current position, is scheduled to take place after the president visits a climate conference in Egypt and makes another trip in Cambodia this week. As part of a bigger attempt to strengthen partnerships that might help offset China’s influence in the area, he wants to talk with the leaders of Southeast Asian nations when he is in Cambodia. This will be done as part of this trip.

The president’s statement, which was conveyed during a press conference on Wednesday, that he would not make any “basic compromises” regarding U.S. support for Taiwan was also underlined by a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. China maintains that Taiwan is an inalienable part of its land and that it is thus impossible for Taiwan to exist as an independent republic.

Mr. Biden, a politician who believes in the power of face-to-face encounters, has the opportunity to re-establish boundaries with a leader whom he treats more as an adversary from the time of the Cold War than as a sceptical competitor he once knew because setting up a meeting gives him this opportunity. Mr. Xi has been more aggressive as a worldwide foe since the two first met over a decade ago, when they were both presidents. Since that time, Mr. Xi has also strengthened his hold on power domestically, even as he has become more physically isolated due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr. Biden has taken a position on Taiwan that is more courageous than any other modern president of the United States. Although other American officials argue that this does not constitute official policy, he has said on four separate occasions that the United States military would support Taiwan in the event that China strikes it. While China is conducting military operations in the Taiwan Strait in an effort to alter the status quo, the president of the United States has not stopped sending navy ships through the area. And under his government, Taiwan has been encouraged to build up its military arsenal in order to become a “porcupine” that is capable of warding off an invasion by the People’s Liberation Army.

Even as Mr. Biden’s administration has sought to place restrictions on China’s capacity to pursue its technical and military objectives, the president has talked with Mr. Xi five times since taking office, highlighting the time he has spent and the distance flown with the Chinese leader. These measures have been met with vehement criticism from the Chinese capital.

Despite this, the administration of President Joe Biden has expressed the hope that Chinese President Xi Jinping would be open to the idea of working together to prevent the relationship from becoming even more strained. As North Korea ramps up its missile testing and positions aeroplanes closer to its border with South Korea, President Biden and his aides have floated the idea that the two nations may be able to coordinate their efforts to confront North Korea.

Chris Matthews
I am a Political News Journalist of The National Era
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