AP

China vows no concessions on Taiwan after Biden comments

Oct 22, 2021, 1:40 AM | Updated: Oct 23, 2021, 4:13 am

BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday said there is “no room” for compromise or concessions over the issue of Taiwan, following a comment by U.S. President Joe Biden that the U.S. is committed to defending the island if it is attacked.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reasserted China’s longstanding claim that the island is its territory at a daily briefing after Biden made his comment a day before at a forum hosted by CNN.

China has recently upped its threat to bring Taiwan under its control by force if necessary by flying warplanes near the island and rehearsing beach landings.

“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions, and no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan issue is purely an internal affair of China that allows no foreign intervention,” Wang said.

Biden’s comments on Thursday were viewed as stretching the “strategic ambiguity” Washington has maintained over how it would respond to an assault on the self-governing island republic.

The U.S. should “be cautious with its words and actions on the Taiwan issue, and not send any wrong signals to the separatist forces of Taiwan independence, so as not to seriously damage China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Wang said.

At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that Biden’s comments about Taiwan weren’t meant to signal a change in approach.

“What I can convey to you is that our policy has not changed,” Psaki said. “He was not intending to convey a change in policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy.”

In his comments, Biden said the U.S. did not want a new Cold War but expressed concern about whether China was “going to engage in activities that will put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake.”

“I just want to make China understand that we are not going to step back, we are not going to change any of our views.” Biden said. Asked whether the U.S. would come to Taiwan’s defense if it were attacked, he replied: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”

Asked Friday whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan if the island were attacked by China, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a reporter he would not discuss hypothetical situations, but also said, “Nobody wants to see cross-Strait issues come to blows — certainly not President Biden, and there’s no reason that it should.” Speaking in Brussels after a NATO defense ministers’ meeting, Austin added that Washington remains committed to its longstanding “one China” policy.

In Taipei, a spokesperson for independence-minded President Tsai Ing-wen said the U.S. has shown its support for Taiwan through concrete actions and the island’s 23 million citizens would not surrender to pressure or act rashly.

“Taiwan will demonstrate our firm determination to defend ourselves and continue to work with countries with similar values to make a positive contribution toward the Taiwan Strait and Indo-Pacific region’s peace and stability,” spokesperson Chang Tun-han said.

China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949. The U.S. cut formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 in order to recognize Beijing. The U.S. does not openly contest China’s claim to Taiwan, but is committed by law to ensure the island can defend itself and to treat all threats toward it as matters of “grave concern.”

Under President Xi Jinping, who is also Communist Party leader and head of the armed forces, China has been stepping up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. Over its National Day weekend at the beginning of the month, China sent a record 149 military aircraft southwest of Taiwan in strike group formations, prompting Taiwan to scramble aircraft and activate its air defense missile systems.

China has also recently held beach landing exercises on its side of the roughly 160-kilometer (100-mile) -wide Taiwan Strait that, like the aircraft incursions, it described as a warning to Tsai’s administration.

The U.S. has reinforced its support for Taiwan with military sales. State Department spokesman Ned Price said this month that American support for Taiwan is “rock solid.” The U.S. has “also been very clear that we are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan,” Price said.

On Wednesday, Biden’s pick for ambassador to Beijing, Nicholas Burns, told lawmakers considering his nomination that Americans should “have confidence in our strength” when dealing with the rise of China, a nation he said the U.S. and its allies could manage.

Burns echoed the Biden administration’s stand on cooperating with China where possible but condemning many of its actions, including its policies toward Taiwan and the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong, where it has virtually eliminated dissident voices through stiff legislation and arrests.

___

AP National Security Writer Robert Burns in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

7 hours ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

8 hours ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

4 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

5 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

13 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

China vows no concessions on Taiwan after Biden comments