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As U.S. Tries To Sway China Against Russia, Beijing Sees Taiwan as Priority

The Chinese side also emphasized the necessity of steering clear of a clash between the two top powers.
Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Yang Jiechi (L) and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan (R) meet alongside their respective delegations for talks in Rome, Italy, on Monday. CHINESE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Yang Jiechi (L) and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan (R) meet alongside their respective delegations for talks in Rome, Italy, on Monday. CHINESE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

As President Joe Biden‘s administration put Russia’s war in Ukraine front and center after talks between White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Yang Jiechi, Beijing regarded Taiwan as a priority in China’s own account of the high-level discussions.

In a readout of the talks shared Monday with Newsweek by China’s embassy in Washington, Taiwan is featured more prominently than any other issue, and is described as a key factor in the bilateral relationship between the two leading powers.

“Yang Jiechi stressed that the Taiwan issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese readout said. “In the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, the U.S. side clearly recognized that there is only one China, and the one-China principle is the premise of establishing diplomatic relations between China and the United States, and it is also the political foundation of Sino-U.S. relations.”

And while the readout noted that the Biden administration has pledged to adhere to these formative understandings that constitute the basis of Washington’s ties with Beijing forged more than half a century ago, China has accused the U.S. of not living up to its word.

“On the Taiwan issue, the current U.S. administration has made a commitment to adhere to the one-China policy and not support ‘Taiwan independence,’ but its actions are obviously inconsistent with its statements,” the readout stated. “China expresses serious concern and firm opposition to the recent series of wrong words and deeds by the U.S. on Taiwan-related issues.”

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