U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday insisted on the preservation of “peace and stability” in Taiwan, according to the White House.
At a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in San Francisco on Wednesday, Biden made it clear that the U.S. had called on the Chinese to respect electoral processes in Taiwan, a representative of the U.S. government said after the meeting, according to journalists travelling with him.
During the exchange with Biden, Xi reportedly expressed concerns that the Taiwan issue was the biggest and potentially most dangerous conflict in U.S.-China relations.
He reportedly said he kept hearing reports from the U.S. that China was planning military action in Taiwan, but he affirmed this was not the case.
Taiwan, which lies only 130 kilometres off the coast of mainland China, has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island with more than 23 million inhabitants part of its territory.
There have been international concerns that China, like Russia in Ukraine, might launch a war to conquer Taiwan
Biden and Xi met in California for their first face-to-face meeting in a year to stabilise relations between the two countries.
The two heads of state met at a lavish estate south of San Francisco on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Community summit ongoing there.