WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he has spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan and they agreed to abide by the “Taiwan agreement”, as tensions have ratcheted up between Taipei and Beijing.
“I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,” he said. “We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement.”
Biden appeared to be referring to Washington’s long-standing policy under which it officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes clear that the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing instead of Taiwan rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.
While that act binds the United States to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, Washington only acknowledges China’s stance that the island belongs to it and that there is “one China”, and takes no position on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said it had sought clarification from the United States about Biden’s comments, and were reassured U.S. policy towards Taiwan had not changed, the U.S. commitment to them was “rock solid” and that the U.S. will continue to help Taiwan maintain its defenses.
“Facing the Chinese government’s military, diplomatic and economic threats, Taiwan and the United States have always maintained close and smooth communication channels,” it said, noting recent U.S. comments of concern about China’s activities.
Story continues at: AGREEMENT