Joe Biden expects an imminent “thaw” in Chinese relations

Joe Biden said he expected a “thaw” in U.S.-Beijing relations, even as he wrapped up a G7 summit in Japan that marked a concerted effort to counter military and economic security threats from China.

The US president said at a news conference at the end of the three-day summit that talks between the two countries had stalled after a “stupid balloon” carrying spy equipment flew over North America in February and was shot down by the US military. .

“Everything has changed in talking to each other. I think you’re going to see that melt away pretty soon,” Biden said.

Biden added that his administration is considering lifting sanctions against Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu. Beijing recently refused to meet US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin when the pair attend the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore next month because of the sanctions.

U.S. officials previously said privately that the administration would not lift sanctions imposed on Li over China’s importation of fighter jets and missiles from Russia.

See also  Companies are turning to TikTok as UK labor shortages bite

Video description

In his speech at the G7 summit, Joe Biden said he expects a “thaw” in relations between the United States and China in a very short period of time.

Joe Biden speaks at the podium of the G7 summit in Japan

© Reuters

In his speech at the G7 summit, Joe Biden said he expects a “thaw” in relations between the United States and China in a very short period of time.© Reuters

Biden reiterated at the press conference that the United States adheres to the “one China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as the sole government of China, and that Washington has not supported any move by Taiwan to declare independence.

However, he added: “Meanwhile, we will continue to put Taiwan in a position to defend itself. And most of our allies clearly understand that if China acted unilaterally, there would be a response.”

Biden did not confirm whether he was referring to a military response. However, he has said on four previous occasions that he would order the US military to intervene if China took unprovoked military action against Taiwan.

See also  The Bank of England conducts a stress test for exposures in non-banking financial markets

The White House did not respond to a request to clarify what response Biden envisioned.

The US president’s comments came a day after G7 members – the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy – issued a statement rebuking Beijing on a range of issues, including -his military activities in the China Seas, as well as his human rights situation in Tibet and Xinjiang. Developed economies demanded peace across the Taiwan Strait.

In remarks likely to provoke anger in Beijing, Biden at one point referred to Taiwan as a “country” contrary to US policy. In response to a question discussing his “one China” policy, Biden said “neither country,” then later corrected himself to say “neither territory.”

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and is very sensitive to any comments, especially from the United States, that contradict this.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese convened a meeting of the Quad – the United States, Japan, Australia and India – at the G7 meeting after Biden was forced to cancel his trip to Sydney, where he held a separate meeting with the leaders of the group.

See also  Textbook economics won't avert this winter’s vitality disaster

The four countries said in a joint statement that they are “strongly opposed to destabilizing or unilateral actions in the Indo-Pacific region that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion.” Although China was not specifically mentioned, the statement hinted at Chinese activity in the region.

Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed a security agreement with Papua New Guinea on Sunday. It is Washington’s latest effort to strengthen ties with the Pacific island nation after China shocked the United States and its allies last year by signing a security pact with the Solomon Islands.