‘Those Who Play With Fire Will Only Get Burnt’ — Xi Warns Biden

Xi (left) and Biden (Right)

Xi reportedly told Biden, “Those who play with fire will only get burnt . [We] hope the US side can see this clearly.”

Amid simmering economic and geopolitical tensions, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his US counterpart Joe Biden against “playing with fire” over Taiwan during their fifth phone call as leaders.

According to Chinese state media, Xi reiterated to Biden that the United States should uphold the “one-China principle” and that China vehemently opposes Taiwanese independence as well as “interference” by external forces.

Biden informed Xi that US policy had not changed and that Washington “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the body of water dividing the island from mainland China.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry praised Biden for his support after the call and said it will continue to strengthen its security alliance with the United States.

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Beijing has most recently issued increasingly stern warnings on a planned travel to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, claiming that such a visit would be seen as provocative.

The US provides Taiwan with informal defensive support, but Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has not ruled out using force to further its objectives.

According to Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, “If the US insists on going its own way and challenging China’s bottom line, it will surely be met with forceful responses.” “All ensuing consequences shall be borne by the US.”

Nancy Pelosi would be the highest-ranking US elected figure to visit Taiwan since Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich went in 1997.

According to US military officials, Pelosi visiting the island at this time is “not a good idea,” Biden told reporters last week.

Biden called Xi to calm diplomatic tensions that had been building for some time but have escalated as a result of Pelosi’s possible visit.