An official of the US Department of State on Monday said that US Vice President Joe Biden did not refer to Taiwan and Tibet as part of China’s core interests, as was reported by China’s Xinhua news agency last week during Biden’s visit to Beijing.
The words “core interests” were China’s, not the US’, an official of the Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs told the Central News Agency on condition of anonymity.
China’s Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday that Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) told Biden during their two-hour meeting that the Taiwan and Tibet issues formed part of China’s core interests, and should be handled prudently and properly to avoid damaging China-US relations.
“Biden said the United States fully recognizes that issues related to Taiwan and Tibet are part of China’s core interests,” the news agency wrote in its report.
“Biden also said the United States will firmly stand by the one-China policy and will not support Taiwan independence,” adding that the US fully acknowledges that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, Xinhua reported.
However, the Department of State official said the US has never used the phrase “core interests” in reference to Taiwan. The comments attributed to Biden by Xinhua have not appeared in any press releases from the White House or State Department, nor in any reports by the international media that covered the talks between Biden and Xi.
Chinese authorities began publicly using the phrase “core interests” in 2009 in reference to a number of issues, ranging from national security and social and economic development to territorial matters that include Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.