Chinese President Xi Jinping told his United States counterpart Joe Biden during a virtual meeting on Monday that encouraging independence of Taiwan would be like “playing with fire”, the BBC reported.

China sees Taiwan – a self-governed territory – as a province that is to be unified with the mainland.

“We have the patience and will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification [of Taiwan] with utmost sincerity and efforts,” Xi said, according to The Global Times. “But if 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.”

During the three-hour-long call between the presidents, Biden urged Xi to resolve human rights violations in Taiwan. In a statement released by the White House, Biden said that the United States opposed “unilateral efforts” of China to disturb peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Meanwhile, Biden also discussed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific – he recalled the necessity of freedom of navigation and safe overflight to the region’s prosperity.

The United States also opposed the human rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, according to the statement released from the White House. Biden also said that the American workers and industries need to be protected from…

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