China: Xi 'sending message to Biden' says expert
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Tensions between Russia and the US have escalated this week as Vladimir Putin continues to rally forces on the Ukrainian border. Experts have also warned that a potential conflict between China and Taiwan could force Washington to intervene.
US expert and journalist Nick Allen wrote in the Telegraph: “There is growing concern in the White House and the Pentagon that Joe Biden may one day have to fight a war.
“Not a small war. A big one. Against China or Russia.”
On Thursday, President Biden issued a warning to Mr Putin to de-escalate tensions at the Ukrainian border and “refrain from military action”.
Speaking at a White House press briefing, Mr Biden warned Moscow that a series of US sanctions on Russia could have been a lot tougher.
He said: “I urged [Putin] to respond appropriately, not to exceed it, because we can move as well.”
Mr Biden added: “If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy. I’m prepared to take further actions to respond. It is my responsibility as president of the United States to do so.”
The top US military chief in Europe, General Tod Wolters, warned on Thursday that there is a “low to medium” risk that Russia will invade the Ukraine over the next few weeks.
But according to Mr Allen “for the first time, China is now considered the most severe threat to US national security,” he wrote.
The expert warned that Beijing has been increasing its pressure since Mr Biden took office in January.
The Asian superpower has claimed sovereignty over the whole of Taiwan, a democracy of around 24 million people, under its ‘One China’ policy which demands there is only one sovereign state under the name China.
The two nations have been governed separately for over seven decades.
Earlier this year, Republican senator Rick Scott reintroduced a bill to authorise the US President to use military force to protect Taiwan.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Scott said: “We are in a new Cold War with Communist China.
“I have no faith that President Biden will do what is needed in this critical moment.”
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Last week, the US State Department decided to deepen its relations with the independent island by updating guidelines with Taiwan to encourage cooperation between the two nations.
The move by Washington angered China who then warned the US “not to play with fire on the Taiwan issue”.
Speaking at a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian added: “Immediately stop any form of US-Taiwan official contacts, cautiously and appropriately handle the matter, and not send wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces so as not to subversively influence and damage Sino-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was concerned about China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan.
He added that the Asian superpower had told Washington not to “stand on the opposite side of 1.4 billion Chinese people”.
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