Who is the world’s Super Power now? “Playing with fire will set you on fire,” Xi told Biden. “I hope the U.S. can see this clearly.”
President Joe Biden held a phone call with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping on July 28. This was the fifth call between the men, lasting more than two hours.
With Biden’s declining popularity at home and following a plethora of missteps by him and his administration, the CCP has taken a firm stand, not appearing open to to negotiate on most issues.
In spite on the declining relationship, the White House says that it is important to keep the lines of communication open between the two powers.
“The President wants to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi remain open, because they need to,” said White House national security spokesperson John Kirby. “There’s issues where we can cooperate with China on, and then there’s issues where, obviously, there’s friction and tension.
“This is one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world today, with ramifications well beyond both individual countries. The president clearly understands that, and we’re going to continue to work on that relationship.”
Chinese state-owned media outlets stated that the exchange was “candid and in-depth” and that the two leaders promised to stay in communication.
Xi reportedly told Biden that it was the duty of “the two major powers” to manage global security and urged Biden to not view the CCP through the lens of “strategic competition.”
Biden is currently contending with the need to adequately address China’s status as a rising power while simultaneously mitigating the regime’s increasingly hostile behavior.
To that end, Xi’s conversation with Biden focused heavily on Taiwan.
“Playing with fire will set you on fire,” Xi told Biden. “I hope the U.S. can see this clearly.”
The CCP maintains that Taiwan is a breakaway province of China. Xi has vowed to unite the island with the mainland and hasn’t ruled out the use of force to do so.
For its part, Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, has never been under CCP control, and boasts a thriving democracy and market economy.
The United States doesn’t have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by a treaty to provide it with the arms necessary for its self-defense.
The government also maintains a doctrine of “strategic ambiguity” in which it will neither confirm nor deny whether it would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
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