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Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned his US counterpart, Joe Biden, not to “play with fire.” This warning relates to a possible visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Xi vehemently opposes such a visit to what he believes to be a breakaway Chinese province, and made this clear in the fifth phone call between him and Biden. In addition to the Taiwan issue, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the climate and the difficult trade relationship between the United States and China were discussed.
According to the White House, the two presidents instructed their staff to arrange a follow-up to today’s conversation. “Especially on topics such as climate change and public health.”
Chinese state media reported that Xi stressed that China opposes Taiwan independence and foreign interference. He also said that Pelosi’s visit, after all, a symbol of US support for Taiwan, will have consequences. “He who plays with fire will only burn himself,” he was quoted as saying by state media. “Hopefully this is clear to America.”
Biden stressed that US policy toward Taiwan has not changed. The White House said in a statement that Washington strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the current situation. It also states that the United States opposes undermining peace and stability in Taiwan.
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