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The G20 Summit Could Finally Bring Biden And Xi Face To Face

  • In a two-hour phone call, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden recently discussed Taiwan and Ukraine.
  • Both sides agreed the call was "candid" and "in-depth", and concluded by agreeing to stay in touch.
  • Following the phone call, it has been reported that Xi and Biden are considering an in-person summit. 
Biden Xi

Coming off their two-hour, seventeen-minute phone call Thursday wherein Taiwan tensions topped the agenda, The Washington Post is citing a senior administration official to say Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are mulling an in-person summit.

As the Post report notes, "When Biden was vice president, he spent long hours with Xi in the United States and China, an experience he often recalls as he talks about the two countries’ opportunities for conflict and cooperation. However, they have not met in person since Biden became president last year."

Xi recently made a day-trip visit to Hong Kong, but there's speculation that the Chinese leader, who rarely travels, could attend the G20 summit in Indonesia set for November, which could be a likely location for an in-person Biden meeting.

In a surprisingly longish phone call at over two hours, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden focused on the geopolitical flashpoints of Taiwan and Ukraine on Thursday, speaking by phone for the fifth time. Both sides agreed the call was "candid" and "in-depth", and concluded by agreeing to stay in touch. However, China state sources are reporting that - in a moment perhaps intent on humiliating the US administration - Xi warned Biden "those who play with fire will get burned."

Related: Why The U.S. Is Desperate For A Russian Oil Price Cap

Bloomberg cited Xi as saying, based on early Chinese state media reports, that "China firmly opposes separatist moves toward Taiwan independence and interference by external forces, and never allows any room for Taiwan independence forces in whatever form." As usual, Biden was urged to stick by the one-China policy, with the US president reiterating that the US intends to.

In the face of Xi's firm words on the Taiwan issue, Biden affirmed that the United States does not back Taiwan's independence

Not only did Xi again lay down China's 'red lines' on Taiwan, but the Chinese leader stressed Beijing vehemently opposes the "intervention of other powers," according to quotes in China state media.

The warning comes just hours after the USS Ronald Reagan nuclear-powered 'super carrier' has entered waters of the South China Sea, triggering PLA snap military drills in the area in response. After multiple US Navy sail-throughs of both the Taiwan Strait and near the Paracel islands this summer, Beijing has ramped up its rhetoric threatening a "forceful response" - particularly if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi follows through with her trip to Taipei next month. 

Axios writes of the context to Thursday's call, "The Chinese government has repeatedly vowed to take control of the island, by force if necessary, and it reacts furiously to any gesture that seems to treat Taiwan as an independent state." And further, "There was also speculation ahead of the call about the potential easing of U.S. tariffs on China, though the White House dampened any expectation that major announcements would result from this conversation."

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on July 30 2022 said:
    If they do meet at the coming G20 summit in Indonesia, Chinese President Xi Jinping could be expected to forcefully restate his positions on Taiwan and the Ukraine conflict.

    1- Taiwan independence and interference by the United States and attempts to change the status of Taiwan are absolutely red lines. President Xi will tell President Biden not to play with fire over Taiwan.

    2- He will also tell President Biden that China continues to support its closest strategic ally Russia over the Ukraine conflict. In so doing he will be putting the blame on the US and NATO for provoking the conflict.

    3- China will continue to buy Russian crude in increasing volumes and that it will never subscribe to the stupid Western idea of capping the price of Russian crude exports.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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