China claimed Tuesday that President Biden denounced Taiwanese independence from the communist nation, but warned the U.S. is "playing with fire" in the South China Sea. The latest threats came after an hours-long virtual summit between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping that marked the most comprehensive 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’."
China was very clear Tuesday that it intended to bring the island into "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 supported the security of Taiwan and reports have shown the U.S. is working to bolster defenses in the Indo-Pacific as Chinese aggression in the region intensifies.
The White House did not deny China’s claim that the U.S. continues to recognize the one-China principle.
"President Biden underscored that the United States remains committed to the ‘one-China’ policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances," the White House said in a statement.
But the statement also pointed out that the U.S. "strongly opposes" any move to alter the "status quo" in the region or "undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."
Both nations have voiced support for the one-China policy, however, their view of what that means for the region is significantly different.
"The United States and China have two different approaches to the one-China concept," Zack Cooper, a senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute specializing in U.S. strategy in Asia told Fox News. "Beijing advocates its one-China principle, whereas Washington maintains a one-China policy, which is substantially different."
Cooper, who served at the Department of Defense and as an assistant on the White House National Security Council during the Bush administration, said this difference could mean the region will continue to see geopolitical conflict.
"China and the United States maintain two different views of what one-China means and … this issue will be difficult to resolve because neither side is likely to adjust its approach anytime soon," he added.
Biden and Xi agreed to have candid discussions on complex issues facing both nations but no policy-based solutions have been offered.