State Department rejects Xi’s claim that US wants China to invade Taiwan

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller has rejected the claim that the US “wants” China to invade Taiwan.

Miller was asked by The Independent about the remarks made by China’s president Xi Jinping at a summit in 2023, but which were first reported by the Financial Times on Saturday.

According to FT, Xi told European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in April 2023 that “the US was trying to trick China into invading Taiwan, but that he would not take the bait,” according to a characterization made to the newspaper by several sources. One person further confirmed to the Financial Times that Xi had made that same assertion about the US’s strategic thinking to officials within his government.

Miller responded to that claim on Monday, telling reporters: “It’s certainly not accurate. We have made clear, including directly to senior members of the Chinese government, that our One China policy has not changed. It will not change and we continue to urge common stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

The “One China” policy refers to the position demanded by the Chinese government that the US and other nations recognize the government in Beijing as the only legitimate sovereign government in China, and specifically reject efforts to recognize Taiwan as an independent state in any form. The policy stems from China’s civil war, which led to the rise of its communist government and the exile of the nationalist army to Taiwan.

The US government plays off this policy by recognizing the government in Beijing but also by acknowledging Taiwan as an independent entity, if not a full nation with rights at the UN.

The Biden administration this year shepherded passage of a security assistance package for Taiwan’s government as part of the national security supplemental that passed Congress; the legislation included $2b in direct support for Taiwan.

President Joe Biden said in an interview in 2022 that the US would commit forces to Taiwan’s defense in the event of an “unprecedented” attack by China.

China’s foreign ministry condemned the US president’s remarks at the time in a statement, writing: “The US remarks … severely violate the important commitment the US made not to support Taiwan independence, and send a seriously erroneous signal to Taiwanese separatist independence forces.”