China responds to Biden’s Taiwan remark


BEIJING – China said on Friday that there was “no room” for compromise or concessions on the Taiwan issue, after a comment by US President Joe Biden that the United States is committed to defend the island if it is attacked.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reaffirmed China’s long-held claim that the island is its territory in a daily briefing after Biden made his comment the day before during a forum hosted by CNN.

China recently increased its threat to bring Taiwan under its much-needed force by flying warplanes near the island and repeating beach landings.

“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other fundamental interests, China has no room for compromise or concessions, and no one should underestimate the strong Chinese people’s determination, steadfast will and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, ”Wang said.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. The Taiwan question is purely an internal Chinese affair which does not allow any foreign intervention,” Wang said.

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The United States should “be careful in its words and actions on the Taiwan question, and not send the wrong signals to the Taiwan independence separatist forces, so as not to seriously damage Sino-American relations, peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, ”Wang said.

At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that Biden’s comments on Taiwan were not meant to signal a change in approach.

“What I can tell you is that our policy has not changed,” Psaki said. “He did not intend to convey a policy change, and he did not make the decision to change our policy.”

In his comments, Biden said the United States did not want a new Cold War, but expressed concern that China “was going to engage in activities that would put it in a position where it was could make a serious mistake “.

“I just want to make China understand that we are not going to back down, we are not going to change any of our views.” Biden said. When asked if the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan if it was attacked, he replied, “Yes, we have made a commitment to do so. “

Asked on Friday whether the United States would defend Taiwan if the island was attacked by China, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told a reporter he would not discuss hypothetical situations, but also said: not President Biden, and there is no reason why it should be. “Speaking in Brussels after a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Austin added that Washington remained committed to its policy of long-standing “one China”.

In Taipei, a spokesperson for pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen said the United States had shown its support for Taiwan through concrete actions and that the 23 million citizens of the island would not give in to pressure or not. would not act recklessly.

“Taiwan will demonstrate our strong determination to stand up for ourselves and continue to work with countries with similar values ​​to make a positive contribution to the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region,” the door said. – spoken by Chang Tun-han.

China and Taiwan separated in a civil war in 1949. The United States severed formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 in order to recognize Beijing. The United States does not openly contest China’s claim to Taiwan, but has committed itself by law to ensuring that the island can defend itself and to treat all threats against it as matters of “serious concern.”

Under President Xi Jinping, who is also leader of the Communist Party and head of the armed forces, China has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. During its national holiday weekend earlier this month, China sent a record 149 military jets to southwest Taiwan in attack group formations, prompting Taiwan to jam the planes and activate its systems. of air defense missiles.

China also recently held beach landing drills on its approximately 100-mile-wide side of the Taiwan Strait which, like the aircraft incursions, were described as a warning to the Tsai administration.

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The United States has stepped up its support for Taiwan with military sales. State Department spokesman Ned Price said this month that US support for Taiwan was “rock solid.” The United States has “also been very clear about our commitment to deepen our ties with Taiwan,” Price said.

Biden’s pick for Beijing ambassador Nicholas Burns on Wednesday told lawmakers considering his appointment that Americans should “have confidence in our strength” in the face of the rise of China, a nation he said the United States and its allies could manage.

Information for this article was provided by Robert Burns of The Associated Press.

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