Joe Biden said he expected to see a “thaw” in US relations with Beijing, even as he wrapped up a G7 summit in Japan that made a concerted effort to counter military and security threats. economy of China.
The US president told a press conference at the end of the three-day summit that talks between the two countries broke down after a ‘dumb balloon’ carrying spy equipment flew over America du Nord in February, before being beaten down by the US military.
“Everything has changed in terms of talking to each other. I think you’re going to see that start to thaw out pretty soon,” Biden said.
Biden added that his administration is considering lifting sanctions against Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu. Beijing recently refused to accept a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin when the couple attend the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore next month due to sanctions.
US officials previously said privately that the administration would not remove sanctions imposed on Li over China’s import of fighter jets and missiles from Russia.
Joe Biden, in a speech at the G7 summit, said he expects to see a “thaw” in US-China relations “very soon”.
Joe Biden, in a speech at the G7 summit, said he expects to see a “thaw” in US-China relations “very soon”.© Reuters
Biden reiterated at the press conference that the United States supports the “one China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as the sole government of China, and Washington did not support any move by Taiwan to declare independence. .
However, he added: “In the meantime, we will continue to put Taiwan in a position where they can defend themselves. And most of our allies clearly understand that in fact, 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 four times that he would order the US military to intervene if China takes unprovoked military action against Taiwan.
The White House did not respond to a request for clarification of the type of response Biden is considering.
The US president’s comments come a day after G7 members – the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy – issued a statement scolding Beijing over a a number of issues, including its military activities in the East and South China Seas and its human rights record in Tibet and Xinjiang. Advanced economies have also called for peace in the Taiwan Strait.
In a remark likely to anger Beijing, Biden at one point referred to Taiwan as a “country,” which contravenes US policy. In response to a question where he discussed the “one China” policy, Biden replied “no country” before later correcting himself and saying “no territory”.
China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and is very sensitive to any comments, particularly from the United States, that appear to contradict this.
On the sidelines of the G7, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called a meeting of the Quad – the US, Japan, Australia and India – after Biden was forced to cancel a trip to Sydney for a meeting independently with group leaders.
The four countries said in a joint statement that they “strongly oppose destabilizing or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion” in the Indo-Pacific. Although China was not specifically mentioned, the statement highlighted Chinese activity in the region.
Also on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed a security agreement with Papua New Guinea. It is Washington’s latest effort to strengthen ties with Pacific Island nations after China shocked the United States and its allies last year by signing a security pact with the Solomon Islands.