The new round of threats arose following an hours-long virtual summit between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping that marked the most extensive talks the world leaders have engaged in since Biden took office.
In a read-out following the talks, Chinese officials said Biden reiterated U.S. support for the one-China policy and claimed the U.S. president “does not support ‘Taiwan independence’.”
Taiwan and China have shared a complex history since the government of the Republic of China (ROC) relocated to the island in the western Pacific in 1949 amid conflict with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Taiwan identifies as a sovereign nation, but it is officially recognized by China, the United Nations and the U.S. as part of the one-China policy.
China made it clear Tuesday that it has every intention of bringing the island under “complete reunification” with mainland China and threatened action if forces attempt to stop this.
“Should the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence’ provoke us, force our hands or even cross the red line, we will be compelled to take resolute measures,” the readout said. “On this question bearing on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, there is no room for compromise.”
The U.S. and its western allies have backed the security of Taiwan and reports have shown the U.S. is working to shore up defenses in the Indo-Pacific as Chinese aggression in the region escalates.
The White House did not contradict China’s claim that the U.S. continues to acknowledge the one-China principle, but the tone was far less placatory.