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Biden to gauge "red lines" with China's Xi

STORY: US president Joe Biden plans to “build a floor for the relationship” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as they meet at the G20 summit on Monday (November 14). But he will also be honest to Xi about U.S. concerns, including over Taiwan and human rights.That’s according to a senior Biden administration official. Sino-U.S. ties have sunk to their lowest in decades, most notably since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited self-governed Taiwan, and China responded with military drills. At the 20th National People’s Congress last month, President Xi had declared Beijing would never renounce the right to use force over Taiwan. Biden said on Wednesday (November 9) he would be unwilling to make any fundamental concessions to Xi, but he wanted “red lines” to be laid out and areas of conflict, such as Taiwan, to be resolved at the meeting in Jakarta. National security advisor Jake Sullivan said one of the outcomes they’re hoping for, is to make Taiwan “feel comfortable” with U.S. support. “We'll have the opportunity as an administration to brief Taiwan on the results of that meeting. And I'm confident that they will feel very secure and comfortable in the United States' position when it comes to our support for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and our commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, which does commit the United States to ensuring we're providing the articles for Taiwan's defense." Ahead of the meeting, Beijing’s foreign ministry chief Zhao Lijian on Thursday called on the U.S. to stop “distorting” the “one-China” principle - Beijing’s position that there can only be one sovereign state under the name of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of its territory. “The Taiwan question is the core of China’s core interests. The ‘one-China’ principle is what underpins the political foundation between China and U.S. relations.” U.S. officials, meanwhile, have been pushing Taiwan to modernize its military, so it would be hard for China to attack. The U.S. has approved more than $20 billion in arms sales to Taiwan since 2017, and in October, Washington considered a plan for joint weapons production with the self-ruled island.

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