• By The Financial District

Biden Says Xi Vows To Abide By Taiwan Agreement

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday (Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Manila) that he has spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan and they agreed to abide by the "Taiwan agreement," as tensions have ratcheted up between Taipei and Beijing, Jeff Mason reported for Reuters.

Photo Insert: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Joe Biden, who was Vice President at the time, during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

"I've spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree ... we'll abide by the Taiwan agreement," he said. "We made it clear that I don't think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement."

Biden appeared to be referring to Washington's long-standing policy under which it officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes clear that the US decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing instead of Taiwan rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.

While that act binds the US to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, Washington only acknowledges China's stance that the island belongs to it and that there is "one China," and takes no position on Taiwan's sovereignty.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said it had sought clarification from the US about Biden's comments and was reassured US policy towards Taiwan had not changed, the US commitment to them was "rock solid" and that the US will continue to help Taiwan maintain its defenses.

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