TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday (March 25) said that he will hold China accountable for its actions on Taiwan and the Quad nations will hold the communist country accountable in the region.
During his first formal news conference as president, held in the East Room of the White House on Thursday, Biden mainly focused on internal issues such as the southern border, voting rights, and the filibuster. On the diplomatic front, he touched on the potential withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, North Korea's missile tests, and U.S. relations with Russia and China.
Regarding U.S.-China relations, Biden spoke about his interactions with Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平). He said he had had many private conversations with Xi before they became leaders of their respective nations.
Biden described Xi as not having "a democratic — with a small ‘d’ — bone in his body, but he’s a smart, smart guy." He said that like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi "thinks that autocracy is the wave of the future, (and) democracy can’t function in an ever-complex world."
After taking office, Biden said he spoke with Xi for hours and they had clarified their positions. He told Xi that although he expects "stiff competition with China," the U.S. will not seek to confront China but will insist that China abide by international rules for fair competition and fair trade, and respect for human rights.
To compete with China, Biden pointed out that it is necessary to increase investment in new technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. He said he hopes to increase spending on pure research and investment in science from just 0.7 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to "closer to 2 percent."
Biden then emphasized the importance of rebuilding alliances. He pointed out that he met with Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) allies including Australia, India, and Japan on ways to "hold China accountable in the region."
The president said that he will soon invite an alliance of democracies to "make it clear" the U.S. and its allies will "hold China accountable to follow the rules." He then listed the South China Sea, North China Sea, and "their agreement made on Taiwan" as examples of issues he will hold China accountable for.
He told Xi that Americans value freedom and human rights and that as long as China "continues to so blatantly violate human rights," the U.S. will call the world's attention to it in an "unrelenting way."
Biden said that no American president will "ever back down from speaking out of what’s happening to the Uyghurs, what’s happening in Hong Kong, what’s happening in-country."