US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have expressed their intention to explore the possibility of arms control talks during a virtual meeting. This was stated by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tuesday (local time).
Sullivan said Biden and Xi agreed to “see if they can continue the discussion about strategic stability,” citing US concerns about building nuclear weapons and missiles in China. Sullivan did not say what form the “strategic stability discussions” might take.
The two world leaders spoke for three and a half hours. Topics discussed included tensions between the two countries over the island of Taiwan, which is autonomous but considered by China as a Chinese province.
Law on Relations with Taiwan
Biden said after the meeting that the United States would comply with the so-called Taiwan Relations Act. This is a US law obligating the United States to give Taiwan the means to defend itself, including in the event of a Chinese attack. Regarding Taiwan’s desire for independence, Biden said of his conversation with Xi, “I said that Taiwan should decide for itself, not us. We do not encourage independence.”
During the meeting, Xi reportedly said that China would take “decisive measures” if Taiwan went too far in its pursuit of independence.
Sullivan said Xi and Biden also discussed a wide range of global economic issues. She discussed how the US and China can work together to ensure that global energy supplies and price volatility do not jeopardize the global economic recovery. This exchange of views did not lead to concrete agreements.
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