Biden discusses Taiwan independence with Chinese President

Vice President Joe Biden called Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss Taiwan’s independence, Reuters reported on Monday.

“The Vice President and President reviewed the progress made toward establishing mutually beneficial economic and commercial relationships, the intensifying growth of the U.S.-China relationship, and ongoing efforts to manage and manage disagreements and enhance cooperation,” an administration official told Reuters, citing the report.

In December, President Obama urged China to work with the United States to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, specifically urging Beijing to do more to target shipping routes that may be used by the rogue nation.

North Korea, whose Stalinist regime has been infamously hostile to the United States and which received a $1 billion bailout in 2009, conducted another long-range missile test earlier this month.

China has denied that its policy toward Taiwan is altering, despite a shift in tone from Beijing’s previous rhetoric supporting Taiwan’s government.

Biden did not elaborate on the status of the discussions with Xi in his statement, but he did say that he and Xi would continue to seek new areas for co-operation with Beijing.

“I agreed with President Xi that the United States would continue to elevate our defense relationship with Taiwan, explore expanded cooperation on strategic issues, and advance our economic relationship in new ways that will accelerate our partnership and further advance economic prosperity for our two peoples,” Biden said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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