President Biden on Monday said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed, adding he doesn’t think there’s an imminent attempt from China to invade the democratic island.
“The One China policy, our One China policy, has not changed, has not changed. We oppose unilateral change in the status quo by either side and we’re committed to maintaining the peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits,” Biden said in a press conference following his 3 1/2-hour bilateral meeting with Xi in Bali.
The two stances: China’s government in Beijing considers Taiwan a part of its sovereign territory. The U.S. maintains a strategically ambiguous stance on the matter, and while its “One China” policy acknowledges Beijing’s sovereignty claims, the U.S. holds unofficial relations with Taiwan and is committed through the Taiwan Relations Act to ensuring the island has the means to defend itself.
No invasion ‘imminent’: “I do not think there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan,” Biden told reporters on Monday.
“It’s the same exact position we’ve had. I made it clear that we want to see cross-trade issues peacefully resolved and so it never has to come to that,” Biden added. “And I’m convinced that he understood exactly what I was saying. I understood what he was saying.”
Rising tensions: Tensions have been rising recently over Xi’s desire to see a reunification of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in August became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years; Beijing responded by launching a series of military drills near the island.
More on the meeting: Biden opened the bilateral meeting on Monday by saying that he and Xi have a shared responsibility to “show that China and the United States can manage our differences” and “prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict.”