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Biden says China is unlikely to invade Taiwan now because Beijing is simply too busy dealing with its own economic crisis

Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Joe BidenPer-Anders Pettersson, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • US President Joe Biden said China’s economic problems could deter Beijing from invading Taiwan.

  • Biden said Chinese President Xi Jinping has his “hands full” with China’s economic problems.

  • Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory and has stepped up military exercises around the island.

China is probably too busy with its economic crisis to worry about invading Taiwan, US President Joe Biden said on Sunday.

China’s “difficult economic problem” is currently unlikely to lead to the country invading Taiwan, Biden said at a news conference during his state visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, according to a recording on the White House YouTube channel.

Beijing claims Taiwan’s self-rule as its territory and has stepped up military exercises around the island in recent months, raising fears of an invasion.

“I don’t think this will lead to China invading Taiwan. In fact, the opposite probably doesn’t have the same capacity as before,” Biden said in response to a question about whether Beijing could be more aggressive toward Taiwan because of China’s economic problems.

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Biden cited the country’s real estate crisis and record high youth unemployment as economic issues currently facing Chinese President Xi Jinping — which is why the two leaders have not met in 10 months, he said.

“He has his hands full right now,” Biden said, referring to Xi.

“One of the key economic tenets of his plan isn’t working at all right now,” Biden added, without specifying what he was referring to. “I’m not happy about that, but it doesn’t work.”

However, Biden did meet Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang – Xi’s number two – at the G20 summit in New Delhi this weekend.

Biden’s comments on Sunday came amid increased tensions between the US and China in recent years over a range of issues, including strategic competition in the tech space, geopolitics and trade.

In recent weeks, China has ordered its central government officials not to use Apple’s iPhone and phones from other foreign brands at work. Beijing’s directive mirrors similar restrictions in the US, such as a New York City ban on TikTok on government-owned devices.

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The US has also imposed restrictions on Chinese technology companies in recent years, such as banning ZTE from buying components from US companies in 2018 and blocking Huawei in 2019 from accessing parts of Google’s Android mobile operating system.

In October 2022, the US stepped up measures to cut China’s supply of chips made with US technology.

Despite the tensions, Biden said on Sunday he was not isolating China.

“I don’t want to contain China, I just want to make sure we have a relationship with China that is on the rise, well-organized and everyone knows what it’s all about,” he said.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington DC and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US did not immediately respond to Insider requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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