Xi’s warning to Biden: “those who play with fire will perish by it.”


Taiwan held widespread air raid drills on Monday as China doubled down on warnings to the U.S. against allowing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to the island. The ChiComs said the trip could have “serious consequences” for the US. CBS reported that Xi said, “those who play with fire will perish by it.”

President-ish Biden speaks with President Xi Jinping

“The Chinese side has made it clear to the U.S. on many occasions that it is firmly opposed to Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. We are fully prepared,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday. “If the U.S. goes its own way, China will certainly take firm and forceful measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the United States should be held responsible for any serious consequences,” he added, Fox News reports.

Pelosi has not confirmed when, or even if, she will visit, but President Joe Biden last week told reporters that U.S. military officials believed such a trip was “not a good idea.”

Administration officials are believed to be critical of a possible trip for the problematic timing and lack of coordination with the White House.

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a contentious exchange on Taiwan in a two-hour and 17-minute call on Thursday, their fifth call since Biden became president, Axios reports.

According to China’s events version, Xi offered Biden an ominous warning. “Public opinion shall not be violated. If you play with fire, you get burned. I hope the US side can see this clearly,” he told Biden, according to China’s state news agency.

The White House’s account of the call was less specific. “On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” a US readout said, CNN reported.

In addition to his unhappiness over Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit, Xi is also facing a sensitive time with the 20th Communist Party Congress coming up later this year. Any perceived cracks in the United States’ commitment to the One China policy could weaken his own influence.

Xi underscored the need for bilateral coordination on macroeconomic policies to keep global supply chains stable and to maintain food and energy security. The call also covered Covid-19 policies. Both presidents tasked their respective teams to continue following up on Thursday’s conversation, particularly to address climate change and health security, reports Politico.

Climate change is a joke, of course. We destroy our economy while they build coal facilities, promising to stop in the future.

China’s authoritarian ruling Communist Party considers democratic, self-ruling Taiwan its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary, and regularly advertises that threat by staging military exercises and flying warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone or across the center line of the 180-kilometer (100-mile) -wide Taiwan Strait.

Beijing says those actions are aimed at deterring advocates of the island’s formal independence and foreign allies — principally the U.S. — from interfering, more than 70 years after the sides split amid civil war. Surveys routinely show that Taiwan’s 23 million people reject China’s assertions that the island is a Chinese province that has strayed and must be brought under Beijing’s control, according to the Associated Press.

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