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Xi warns of Taiwan 'red line' in Biden meeting; US leader raises concerns over Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong

Xi warns of Taiwan 'red line' in Biden meeting; US leader raises concerns over Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping (fourth from right) waves as he greets US President Joe Biden via video link from Beijing, China on Nov 16, 2021. (Photo: Ding Lin/Xinhua via AP)

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping talked about China's practices in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, among other areas of friction, the White House said in a statement, after the two held more than three hours of virtual talks on Tuesday (Nov 16).

"President Biden raised concerns about the PRC’s practices in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as human rights more broadly," the White House said, referring to the People's Republic of China.

He also told Xi that the US remains committed to the "One China" policy related to Taiwan, the White House said, and the two pledged to work together on energy and climate issues.

Xi, in turn, told Biden his country would have to take "decisive measures" if "pro-Taiwan independence" forces crossed a "red line", Chinese state media said.

He warned Biden that US support for Taiwanese independence would be "like playing with fire", state media reported.

"Taiwanese authorities have repeatedly tried to 'rely on the US for independence'," Xi was quoted as saying by state media agency Xinhua, adding: "Some people in the US intend to 'use Taiwan to control China'. This trend is very dangerous and is like playing with fire, and those who play with fire will get burned."

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own. Beijing has vowed to bring the island under Chinese control, by force if necessary.

The two leaders stressed their responsibility to the world to avoid conflict.

"It seems to me our responsibility as leaders of China and the United States is to ensure that our competition between our countries does not veer into conflict, whether intended or unintended," Biden said at the start of the talks.

"Just simple, straightforward competition."

Speaking through an interpreter, Xi said: "As the world's two largest economies and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation."

The official Xinhua news agency described the meeting as "frank, constructive, substantive and fruitful".

Source: Agencies/dv

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