U.S. President Joe Biden has said the United States would defend Taiwan militarily if China invaded the self-governed island, but on Monday said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping at a summit in Indonesia that “our one-China policy has not changed,” which presumes Taiwan is part of Beijing’s domain.
Biden, speaking at a news conference after a 3½-hour meeting with Xi at a resort hotel in Bali, said the U.S. would “compete vigorously” with China on the world stage, “but I’m not looking for conflict. I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly.”
The U.S. leader said, “We’re committed to maintaining peace and stability in the straits” surrounding Taiwan, even as Beijing has flown fighter jets near the island airspace in recent months and launched missiles that landed in nearby waters as a protest to a Taiwan visit in August by a top Biden political ally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I absolutely believe there will not be a new Cold War” with China, Biden said. “I made it clear we want strait issues to be peacefully resolved.”
Despite Beijing’s saber rattling near Taiwan, Biden said he does not believe “there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.”
Over the years, the U.S. has sent billions of dollars of military aid to Taiwan to defend itself even as it recognizes Chinese control, in what is known in the U.S. as a policy of “strategic ambiguity.”
Biden said his talks with Xi were “open and candid” and that the two leaders discussed their countries’ “intentions and priorities” on a range of issues.
“I found him direct and straightforward,” Biden said of Xi.
Biden said he has directed several top U.S. officials to meet soon with their Chinese counterparts.
He said, “We’re not going to be able to work everything out,” but wants to make sure there is “no misunderstanding about intentions or actions on each of our parts.”
On domestic matters, Biden said that the American people in last week’s U.S. congressional elections “proved once again that democracy is who we are,” with the peaceful, non-violent conduct of the voting across the country.
He said the outcome, with Biden’s Democrats performing substantially better than pre-election predictions, was a “strong rejection” of Republican candidates who supported former President Donald Trump’s contention that Trump was cheated out of another White House term in the 2020 presidential election that Biden won.
Biden characterized the peaceful voting as a “strong rejection of political violence and voter intimidation.” He described the outcome as an “emphatic statement that in America the will of the people prevailed.”
Biden’s Democrats will maintain their slim majority in the Senate when the new Congress is sworn in next January. Political control of the House of Representatives is not yet settled, with Biden expressing doubt that Democrats can overcome a narrow Republican edge as the vote counting continues.your ad here