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Editorial: Don’t give in to China’s threats about Taiwan

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met for the first time online and exchanged views on Taiwan and human rights.


The Chinese leader warned that he will take decisive measures “if the Taiwan independence forces cross an unacceptable line.”


President Biden stated that he will “maintain the One China policy” but that he will strongly oppose unilateral changes to the status quo and any other actions that undermine peace and stability.


The democratic camp, including the U.S., Europe, and Japan, views the U.S.-China rivalry as a confrontation between democracy and authoritarianism, and protecting Taiwan’s democracy from China’s pressure is extremely important. These democracies should not give in to Chinese threats.


The U.S. President started his remarks by saying that both leaders have a responsibility to avoid a conflict between their nations. The Chinese counterpart responded, “We must not let two large ships collide.”


According to a senior U.S. government official, the two leaders discussed “ways to responsibly manage the competition between their countries.”


U.S.-China cooperation is being explored on the issues of climate change and COVID-19 countermeasures. The two countries recently issued a joint declaration calling for stronger measures to combat climate change in the 2020s.


However, China’s maritime expansion in violation of international rules and its infringement of basic human rights are unacceptable. Areas where cooperation is possible and areas where it is not should be clearly distinguished. It would be unacceptable to compromise with China for the sake of cooperation. At the same time, it is not beneficial to fight in areas where there is no conflict.


It is the responsibility of the major powers to avoid at all costs any unintended conflict. Both the U.S. and China are nuclear powers. Both countries recognize that competition between the two countries requires a certain level of control. We want the two countries to continue discussions for this reason.


The Chinese Communist Party adopted a “historical resolution” to bolster Xi’s authority. China’s thinking is very different from that of the U.S. Caution is required as to whether China can be a trusted partner in a situation of controlled competition. President Biden conveyed his concern to China on a wide range of human rights issues, including Chinese actions in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibetan Autonomous Regions and Hong Kong. As he has done in the past, the Chinese leader expressed his opposition to “interference in internal affairs,” but we must call out China on its handling of human rights when necessary, even if China is likely to push back.


The Biden administration’s deterrence of China is based on cooperation with allied and friendly countries. We hope that Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will visit the U.S. at an early date so that the premier and President Biden can develop a strategy for handling China, taking into account the outcomes of the latest U.S.-China summit. We hope that together the two leaders will spearhead the creation of coalition against China.

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