0324: Biden’s Concern Over China’s “Provocative Actions” Against Taiwan, Tsai-Abe Virtual Talk

Biden Raises Concern Over China’s “Provocative Actions” Against Taiwan During Call With China’s Xi

On March 18, President Joe Biden expressed concern about China’s “provocative actions” against Taiwan during a video call with China’s leader Xi Jinping to discuss mainly the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During their nearly two-hour meeting, Biden voiced concern to Xi over Beijing’s “coercive and provocative actions” across the Taiwan Strait, a senior U.S. administration official said during a press briefing after the bilateral talks.

Biden reiterated that the United States remains committed to its one-China policy and stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the senior official added.

Biden also told Xi that the U.S. continues to “oppose any unilateral changes” to the cross-strait “status quo,” according to a readout of the talks issued by the White House.

Xi, on the other hand, accused some people in the U.S. of sending “a wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces” and warned of a “disruptive impact” on China-U.S. relations if Washington mishandles the “Taiwan question,” according to a separate readout issued by the Chinese government.

Asked if Biden responded to Xi’s accusation, the U.S. senior official said “President Biden’s response was really about just reaffirming our continued, consistent policy — very longstanding policy — while underscoring concerns about Beijing’s coercive and provocative actions across the Strait.”

“President Biden himself voted for the Taiwan Relations Act, and he’s firmly committed to the principles in it, and that the Biden administration has consistently demonstrated rock-solid support for Taiwan and will continue to do so,” the official added.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202203190005
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/03/20/2003775103

Taiwan’s President Tsai Holds Virtual Talk With Japan’s Former Prime Minister Abe

On March 22, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen held a virtual meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss Taiwan’s bid to join a Tokyo-led trade pact and other bilateral issues, while Abe urged for information sharing and closer ties between Japan and Taiwan.

During her talk with Abe, Tsai expressed hope that the Japanese government would support Taiwan’s bid to join the “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership” (CPTPP) and help facilitate the country’s ascension process.

In response, Abe, who spoke in his capacity as advisor to a parliamentary group, said he looked forward to seeing Taiwan soon be accepted by all the CPTPP signatory states as a member after fulfilling the high standards for market access required by the trade pact.

The Indo-Pacific region must remain free and open in accordance with international law, Abe said, adding that any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force should be rejected. To maintain regional stability, it is important for Japan and Taiwan to collaborate on the sharing of information, he added.

Tsai echoed Abe’s comments, alluding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said such an act of changing the status quo by force and violating the sovereignty of a democratic nation should never be allowed in the Indo-Pacific region.

She said Taiwan looked forward to deepening its exchanges with Japan on security issues and other areas that would contribute to the peace and stability of the region.

The Tsai-Abe talk lasted nearly 30 minutes and was part of an annual meeting of the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council, a cross-party Japanese parliamentary group comprising about 270 members. 

During the meeting, the group also reiterated its support for Taiwan’s efforts to join the CPTPP and participate in international organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202203220021
[2] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202203230008
[3] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/03/24/2003775357