The US government has warned China of pressure on Taiwan as both powers prepare for the summit.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and expressed concern over the continuing military, diplomatic and economic pressure on the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan, the State Department said in a statement.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual meeting on Monday, according to Washington time.
Blingen and Wang spoke Friday to discuss preparations for the meeting. The State Department said the US diplomat had “asked Beijing for a meaningful dialogue to resolve issues (…) peacefully in accordance with the wishes and interests of the Taiwanese people.”
In turn, Wang warned of the dangers of US actions being seen in support of “Taiwan’s independence.”
“Any alliance and support for the Taiwanese independence forces will undermine peace in the Taiwan Strait, which will ultimately backfire,” Wang told Blingen, according to the Chinese government.
Relations between the two largest economies in the world are at a critical juncture, with Taiwan and Beijing claiming autonomy.
Last month, China’s military made a record infiltration of the island’s air defense zone.
Washington has repeatedly expressed support for Taiwan against what it describes as Chinese occupation.
The meeting between the presidents on Monday “marks an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss how to responsibly manage the rivalry between the United States and the People’s Republic of China,” the State Department said.
The presidents have spoken on the phone twice since Biden arrived at the White House in January.
The two met when Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president and Shi was vice president of Hu Jintao.
During the recent G20 summit in Rome, the US president wanted to meet with his Chinese prime minister, but Shi has not traveled abroad since the outbreak of the Govt-19 epidemic.
“I have repeatedly stated that the relationship with China over the last 10 months is very important and very complex with us,” Flinken said Friday.
“It has different components: some partnerships, some competition and some disadvantages, and we’re going to manage all three at once,” he declared.
Biden largely maintains the position of his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, in Beijing. Both governments view emerging China as a major challenge for the United States in the 21st century.
Xi warned against returning to Cold War-era divisions during a speech at a trade conference parallel to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on Thursday.
“Attempts to draw ideological lines or create small circles for geopolitical reasons will fail,” the Chinese president said.
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