The leaders of the United States and China warned one another about Taiwan during a phone call that lasted more than two hours. President Joe Biden told his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, that the US firmly opposes any unilateral attempts to change the island’s status. He stated, “The US position on Taiwan has not changed.” President Xi of China however told Mr. Biden that if anyone decides to play with fire, he would get burned. He encouraged him to preserve the one-China policy.
Similar language on Taiwan has already been used by the Chinese leader; last year, he declared that promoting Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire.”
Before a rumored plan for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan, tensions over the topic have risen. Nancy Pelosi is alleged by the state department of the United States to have made no travel arrangements to Taiwan, but China has threatened grave consequences if she decides to go there nonetheless. Although Mr. Biden told reporters last week that the military thinks it’s not a smart idea, the White House has characterized Chinese statements against any such trip as “clearly unhelpful and not essential.” The highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since 1997 would be Nancy Pelosi, who takes the vice president’s place as the next in line for the presidency.
Given that it views Taiwan as a separatist province that must unify with the rest of the country, China hasn’t ruled out the prospect of using force to conquer the island. In addition to Taiwan, the two leaders reportedly discussed a variety of other subjects, including climate change and health security.