by WorldTribune Staff, May 23, 2022
Joe Biden on Monday said the United States would respond militarily to defend Taiwan if China tries to take the island nation by force.
Another gaffe or a deliberate effort to reinforce global perceptions of U.S. resolve following Team Biden’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan?
During a news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden was asked by a reporter: “Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?”
Biden responded: “That’s the commitment we made. We are not — look. Here’s the situation: we agree with the One China policy, we’ve signed onto it, and all of the attendant agreements made from there. But the idea that, that it could be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not appropriate. It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine. And so it’s a burden that is even stronger.”
Biden’s remarks ignited uncertainty over whether the U.S. was moving away from its longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity on the China-Taiwan situation.
After Biden’s comments were met with anger from Beijing and praise from Taipei, his handlers quickly issued a clarification.
“As the president said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself,” a White House statement said.
After Biden made a similar statement in August of last year that the U.S. “would respond” if there were an attack against Taiwan, his handlers claimed that Biden was not changing the policy of the U.S., insisting that what Biden meant to say was that the U.S. has a “commitment” to defend Taiwan.
Related: Analyst: U.S. no longer deters China, must adopt measures ‘once regarded as extreme’, April 26, 2022
Biden on Monday also played down the possibility that China’s military would try to take Taiwan.
“My expectation is that it will not happen, it will not be attempted,” Biden said.
Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou welcomed Biden’s vow to defend the island nation militarily, adding: “Our government’s determination to firmly defend Taiwan’s freedom, democracy and security has never changed, and we will continue to improve self-defense capabilities.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China “has no room for compromise and concession” on core concerns like Taiwan and “will take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests. We do what we say.”
In July 2021, the Chinese state-controlled magazine “Naval and Merchant Ships” published an article detailing a “three-stage” plan for an invasion of Taiwan. That plan involved ballistic missiles, fighter jet attacks, and amphibious landings on Taiwan’s beaches.