Team Biden fails to demonstrate resolve in response to PLA moves against Taiwan

FPI / August 10, 2022

By Richard Fisher

The Biden Administration’s weak response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desire to visit Taiwan has been compounded by its weak response to China’s ongoing threatening exercises against Taiwan.

The Biden Administration did not undertake a counter military display to the PLA blockade exercise against Taiwan, as in late July it had completed a 38-ship, 26-nation Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. / Canadian Armed Forces

This all but guarantees that China will increase its pressure on Taiwan, undermining America’s stature and deterrent power in Asia.

During an Aug. 8 press opportunity, commenting on the Chinese blockade exercises, President Joe Biden stated, “I’m not worried, but I’m concerned that they’re moving as much as they are…I don’t think they’re going to do anything more.”

In contrast, numerous Chinese statements indicate its blockade exercises against Taiwan will grow more frequent and larger, increasingly pointing toward a Chinese invasion of the island democracy.

Earlier on Aug. 2, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby stated, “The United States will not seek and does not want a crisis. [But] we are prepared to manage what Beijing chooses to do.”

And since the Aug. 4 beginning of the People’s Liberation Army coercive blockade exercises, and during their continuation after Aug. 7, the Biden Administration has not ordered any large deterrent demonstration by U.S. forces in Asia.

Since April, when Pelosi first wanted to visit Taiwan, Biden Administration officials have briefed Pelosi of the dangers of the trip, and have leaked their disapproval to the press, which likely encouraged China to pour on political pressure and then to hold its unprecedented threatening military display against Taiwan, having likely assessed that the Biden Administration was divided.

But just as the People’s Liberation Army blockade exercises against Taiwan was beginning on Aug. 4, Bloomberg reported that the Biden Administration was seeking to defeat new bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Congress that would provide up to $4.5 billion in financing for Taiwan to purchase much needed weapons.

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