Biden Says He Doesn’t See ‘Imminent’ Threat Of Taiwan Attack
I do not think there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan, Biden said after his meeting with Xi Jinping.
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said that he doesn’t believe Chinese President Xi Jinping plans an “imminent” attack on Taiwan, after a highly anticipated in-person meeting intended to stabilize a deteriorating relationship between the countries.
“I do not think there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan,” Biden said at a news conference after meeting for about three hours with Xi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. “I absolutely believe there need not be a new Cold War.”
Biden added of Xi: “I didn’t find him more confrontational or more conciliatory; I found him the way he’s always been, direct and straightforward.”
The two men agreed to a series of goodwill gestures intended to improve ties between their countries, including the resumption of talks on climate change, global economics and other issues between senior officials. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China, Biden said.
“We had an open and candid conversation about our intentions, and our priorities,” Biden said. “We’re going to compete vigorously but I’m not looking for conflict; I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly.”
But Biden said he cautioned Xi on North Korea, a Chinese ally that has recently accelerated tests of ballistic missiles, alarming South Korea and Japan. US officials said earlier Monday that they are on alert for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime to conduct a nuclear test.
“I made it clear as well that if they did -- they meaning North Korea -- that we would have to take certain actions that will be more defensive on our behalf and would not be directed against China, but it would be to send a clear message to North Korea,” Biden said.
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, had said before the meeting with Xi that the president would warn Xi of an increased US military footprint in the western Pacific if North Korea sets off a nuclear weapon.
(Updates with additional Biden remarks beginning in sixth paragraph)
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