Chinese President Xi Jinping asked his US counterpart Joe Biden, during last month’s phone conversation, to prevent US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, The Washington Post reported on Saturday citing White House officials.
But Xi’s concern was rebuffed and he was warned against Beijing’s “provocative” actions if the visit were to take place, the report added.
The US President told his Chinese counterpart that he “could not oblige” as the US Congress is an independent branch of government and that Pelosi would make her own decisions about foreign trips, the newspaper said.
Biden also warned his Chinese counterpart against taking “provocative and coercive” actions if the US House speaker’s visit were to take place.
“Members of Congress have gone to Taiwan for decades and will continue to do so. Speaker Pelosi had every right to go and her visit is consistent with our long-standing one-China policy,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Pelosi travelled to Taiwan in early August. It was the first visit by a US House speaker to the island since 1997.
Pelosi became the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. China condemned Pelosi’s trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island.
Beijing considers Taiwan an unalienable part of its sovereign territory and opposes any official contact between the island and other countries.
Beijing has said that the One China principle is a political foundation of China-US ties and that violations of these obligations would jeopardise cooperation between the two countries.
In his first TV interview since taking up his post in Beijing six months ago US Ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns said that China needs to convince the rest of the world it is not an “agent of instability” and will act peacefully in the Taiwan Strait.
He also spoke to CNN about Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan and China’s aggressive military drills around Taiwan.
“We do not believe there should be a crisis in US-China relations over the visit — the peaceful visit — of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to Taiwan … it was a manufactured crisis by the government in Beijing. It was an overreaction,” Burns told CNN Friday from the US Embassy.
It is now “incumbent upon the government here in Beijing to convince the rest of the world that it will act peacefully in the future,” the ambassador said.
“I think there’s a lot of concern around the world that China has now become an agent of instability in the Taiwan Strait and that’s not in anyone’s interest.
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