In their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office, the US and Chinese presidents condemned Russia's nuclear threats following the attack on Ukraine. Xi has not yet distanced himself from Putin. The Russian President should not like the development.
US President Joe Biden and China's head of state and party leader Xi Jinping have jointly condemned Russian threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Both sides agreed that "a nuclear war should never be waged," as the White House announced after a three-hour presidential meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali. Such a war can never be won.
The statement said the two presidents had reaffirmed their opposition "to the use of or the threat of nuclear weapons in Ukraine" and that Biden had also expressed concern about "provocative behavior" by North Korea, according to the White House. The entire international community has an interest in persuading North Korea to act responsibly.
The encounter in the city of Nusa Dua in Bali was the first face-to-face meeting between Xi and the US President since Biden took office almost two years ago. The two are staying on the Indonesian holiday island for this year's G20 summit of the most important industrialized and emerging countries, which begins on Tuesday. Actually, Putin was also expected there. However, the Kremlin chief is represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Biden also warned Xi against military force against Taiwan. According to the White House, Biden said at the call that America's one-China policy has not changed. But the US rejected any unilateral change in the status quo, whether by China or Taiwan. The world has an interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. Biden also criticized China's "necessary and increasingly aggressive actions towards Taiwan" that undermine peace around Taiwan and in the region as a whole and endanger global well-being.
Beijing sees the democratic island republic as part of the People's Republic, while Taiwan considers itself independent. At the most recent party congress, Xi Jinping had just again threatened conquest if the 23 million Taiwanese refused to "unify".
The US has committed to Taiwan's defense capability, which mostly meant arms deliveries. But Biden was the first US President to clearly state that in the event of a Chinese attack, the US would also come to the rescue with armed forces.