Beijing has warned Washington not to make any "misjudgments" or have "illusions" in playing the "Taiwan card" to contain China, saying that the nation is determined and capable of defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In a meeting with United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Luxembourg on Monday, senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi reiterated that the Taiwan question concerns the political foundation of China-US relations which, unless handled properly, will have a subversive impact.
"The risk does not only exist, but will escalate as the United States attempts to contain China with the Taiwan question, and as the Taiwan authorities rely on the United States to seek its 'independence'," said Yang, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.
Yang stressed that China takes an unambiguous and steadfast stand in safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China's internal affairs brook no interference by other countries, and any attempts to thwart or undermine China's national unity are doomed to fail, he said.
Yang also stated China's solemn position on issues concerning the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Tibet autonomous region, and the South China Sea, as well as human rights and religion.
The meeting between Yang and Sullivan came three days after State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
During that meeting, Wei also slammed the US for its wrongdoing on the Taiwan question, which is the most sensitive matter in China-US relations, saying that "the People's Liberation Army will relentlessly safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and if anyone dares to separate Taiwan from the motherland, the Chinese military will definitely smash such attempts at any cost, even by going to war".
A statement issued by the White House said that the meeting between Sullivan and Yang included candid, substantive and productive discussion of a number of regional and global security issues, as well as key issues in US-China relations.
Both sides agreed at the Luxembourg meeting that maintaining unimpeded channels for communication between the two sides is necessary and beneficial, Xinhua News Agency reported.
During his meeting with Sullivan, Yang urged the US to correct its strategic perception about China, make the right choices, and translate US President Joe Biden
's commitments to President Xi Jinping during their virtual meeting in November into concrete actions.
In November, Biden had promised Xi that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China, does not aim to change China's system, does not target China with its alliances, does not support "Taiwan independence" and has no intention of seeking a conflict with China.
However, the US administration has been insisting on further containing and suppressing China in an all-around way. It has kept using the Taiwan question to provoke China by selling arms to Taiwan or elevating "official" relations with the island while urging its allies and partners to contain China.
Noting that China firmly opposes using competition to define bilateral ties, Yang said "mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation" are the correct approaches for China and the US to get along with each other.
Analysts said that in the light of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the interactions between the world's two largest economies are necessary and beneficial for them to avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation and properly handle their differences, and their communication about the regional and international issues is also conducive to promoting global stability.
However, they said that the US should keep in mind that the Taiwan question is a red line for China, and Washington needs to refrain from meddling in China's domestic affairs and rationally view China's development in order to ensure that the growing competition between them would not escalate into a much bigger conflict.
Zhou Wenxing, an assistant professor at the School of International Studies at Nanjing University, said that while trying to establish new guardrails in terms of its relations with Beijing, Washington is simultaneously dismantling existing and other more important guardrails.
"If Washington seeks to de-escalate rising tensions, and get its sour relations with China back to normal, it should preserve rather than destroy the guardrails they both share. The one-China principle is and will be a very significant guardrail guiding China-US ties," Zhou said.
Rabi Sankar Bosu, an Indian contributor to Chinese media outlets, said that the US, with the aim of preserving its own hegemony across the world, openly described China as a rival.
There is no doubt that the US and China bear heavy responsibilities not only to their own people but to the world at large, so the China-US relationship should still be led by mutually beneficial cooperation, and feature healthy competition and avoid confrontation, Bosu wrote in an opinion article published on the website of China Global Television Network.