TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — When U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) spoke on the phone before U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, Taiwan was the main topic of discussion, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Sources told the outlet that Xi was frustrated that months of Chinese diplomatic pressure on Washington failed to prevent Pelosi’s trip. When Xi spoke with Biden on July 28, he warned there would be unspecified consequences, but also stressed Beijing had no intention of starting a war with the U.S. and both nations needed to “maintain peace and security,” those sources said.
Biden administration officials said they reassured China the U.S. is committed to the “one China” policy but added that American lawmakers have the right to visit Taiwan, per the report.
Only after Pelosi left Taiwan did China then carry out live-fire military drills in six large swaths of waters around the country, which saw Beijing launch missiles over the nation, in addition to sending its warships and military aircraft in and around the Taiwan Strait. Sources told The WSJ that China wanted to portray a forceful response without triggering a reaction from the U.S. and its allies.
It is of the utmost importance for Xi to portray a sense of stability as he looks to be confirmed for an unprecedented third-term as leader of China, the report said. However, Beijing’s actions have only further strained relations with Washington, while other countries worry that China may look to exert more direct pressure against Taiwan.
Beijing is concerned that Pelosi’s trip could lead to other high-level politicians from other countries visiting Taiwan, thereby boosting its international image. At the end of their call, Biden and Xi agreed to maintain communication and go ahead with arrangements to meet in person at an unspecified date, The WSJ said.
Analysts told the news outlet that Xi will likely grow bolder in confronting Washington and pressing Taiwan during his expected third term.
Updated : 2022-08-20 00:12 GMT+08:00
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