Xi asked Biden to prevent Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, Biden refused
Chinese President Xi Jinping had asked his US counterpart to stop House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from going to Taiwan ahead of the trek, but Washington did not budge.
Chinese President Xi Jinping asked US President Joe Biden on July 28, during a phone conversation, to prevent his country's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from going on her trip to Taiwan. The US president refused, warning Beijing against making any "provocative" actions if the visit takes place, The Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing White House officials.
Biden alleged 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 report said.
He also went on to warn his Chinese counterpart against taking "provocative and coercive" actions if Pelosi's visit were to take place, Washpo reported.
"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 said, as quoted by the newspaper.
China is calling on the United States to sever any official contacts it has with Taiwan, including negotiations on official trade and economic agreements, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Thursday.
Wang underlined his country's readiness to take decisive measures in order to protect its sovereignty in light of rising tensions between Beijing on the one hand and Taipei and Washington on the other.
The situation around Taiwan escalated following Pelosi's recent visit to Taipei. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and opposes any direct official foreign contacts with the island.
Pelosi's visit led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.
More than 170 countries have reaffirmed their commitment to the One China principle since Pelosi made her visit to Taiwan, Wang underlined, highlighting that they showed their support for Beijing's efforts to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the People's Republic of China.
The Chinese foreign ministry had announced that Beijing will impose sanctions on Pelosi and her close relatives in response to her provocative visit to Taiwan. China also imposed restrictions on the purchase of fruit and seafood from Taiwan, as well as stopping sand supplies to the island.
The Taiwanese and Chinese militaries, in the wake of the visit and soaring tensions, held military drills on a large scale. Taipei's military held on Thursday a round of live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait after China's People Liberation Army concluded its own in the South China Sea.
In a multi-decadal first, Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office issued a white book on the island, saying it would "not renounce the use of force" against Taiwan, preserving "the option of taking all necessary measures."