President Biden talked Thursday for over two hours to China ruler Xi Jinping, with the topic of Taiwan emerging, as expected, to be a focal point of their diplomatic discussion.
Xi emphasized China’s claim over the island, which has governed itself for decades, according to Beijing.
In the White House readout of the call, officials said 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.”
The goal of the morning call was to “responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align,” the White House also said, according to the Associated Press.
China claims that Taiwan, which is self governing, is a part of China. Its One China policy insists that countries must not recognize Taiwanese independence if they wish to maintain diplomatic relations with the mainland.
The country, run by the Chinese Communist Party, has increasingly flexed its military might in the air and sea near Taiwan as the country seeks to become more independent.
More recently, China has threatened to use its military to “take strong measures” in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s upcoming, planned trip to Taiwan.
And China’s Defense Ministry has said her announced visit has already “caused extremely serious damage” to U.S.-China relations.
The U.S. continues to sell weapons to Taiwan for its defense, and Biden said in April that the United States would intervene if China attempted to forcefully annex the island nation, according to news reports.
China and the U.S. also have differing perspectives on such issues as global health, economic policy and human rights that have strained their relationship. China also has declined to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adding further strain, according to the wire service.