Biden and Xi exchange warnings on Taiwan
The US and Chinese leaders have held virtual meetings before/File Photo: Reuters)
WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have warned each other over Taiwan during a phone call that lasted more than two hours.
President Biden told his Chinese counterpart that the US strongly opposed any unilateral moves to change the island’s status, BBC reported.
However, he added that US policy on Taiwan had not changed.
Beijing said Xi had told Biden to abide by the one-China principle, warning him that “whoever plays with fire will get burnt”, according to BBC.
Tensions over the issue have increased ahead of a rumoured plan for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan.
The state department says Pelosi has not announced any travel, but China has warned of “serious consequences” if she were to proceed with such a visit.
Last week, Biden told reporters “the military thinks it’s not a good idea”, but his White House has called Chinese rhetoric against any such trip “clearly unhelpful and not necessary”.
Pelosi, who is next in line to the presidency after the vice-president, would be the highest-ranking US politician to travel to Taiwan since 1997.
During the phone call, Biden and Xi also discussed arranging a possible face-to-face meeting, a senior Biden administration official said, describing the bilateral as “direct” and “honest”.
(Inputs from BBC)