President Joe Biden Commits to Defending Taiwan
One of the most emphatic and overt declarations in support of Taiwan in recent decades was made by President Joe Biden on Monday. He stated that the United States would engage militarily if China attacked Taiwan.
Dispensing with the "strategic ambiguity" traditionally favored by American presidents and repeating even more unequivocally statements that his staff has tried to walk back in the past, President Joe Biden indicated that he would use military force to defend Taiwan if China ever attacked it. This is a departure from the traditional approach of American presidents to favor "strategic ambiguity."
During a visit to Tokyo, Mr. Biden suggested that he would be willing to go further on behalf of Taiwan than he has in helping Ukraine. In Ukraine, Mr. Biden has provided tens of billions of dollars in arms and intelligence assistance to help defeat Russian invaders, but he has refused to send American troops. Mr. Biden suggested that he would be willing to go further on behalf of Taiwan than he has in helping Ukraine during a news conference with the Prime Minister of Japan,
A reporter told Mr. Biden that there were "clear reasons" why he did not want the United States to become militarily involved in the crisis in Ukraine. If it comes to that, are you willing to get involved in the military to defend Taiwan?
In the past, the United States has repeatedly cautioned China against using force against Taiwan. Still, it has, for the most part, been evasive over how far it would go to assist Taiwan in the event of a military confrontation. Some officials of the president's own administration who were present in the room were taken aback by his announcement because it was made without any qualifications or explanations. They had not anticipated that he would vow such unwavering determination.
It didn't take long for the White House to launch a campaign to dispel the notion that President Trump meant what he appeared to be saying. In a hastily distributed statement to the press, the White House explained, "Our policy has not changed, as the President himself has stated." He reaffirmed our adherence to the One China Policy and our dedication to maintaining peace and stability on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Additionally, he reaffirmed our commitment, as stated in the Taiwan Relations Act, to supply Taiwan with the military capabilities necessary for it to defend itself.
However, Mr. Biden's remarks went farther than merely restating that the United States would send armaments to Taiwan. When the president stated that he would "get engaged militarily," he did not make any effort to clarify what he meant by this statement. This is because the issue was presented in the context of a contrast to what he had done with Ukraine.
He reiterated that his devotion to Taiwan was more significant than what he had done for Ukraine. Regarding Taiwan, he stated that the notion that it may be seized by force, just taken by force, is inappropriate. "It's just not proper." This would be another move on the scale of what took place in Ukraine, destabilizing the entire region. Because of this, the load is even more difficult to bear.
During his time as President, Joe Biden ignored the precedent set by his predecessors, known for their habitual imprecision, in reference to China and Taiwan. As he was comforting allies in August of last year after choosing to quit the government of Afghanistan, he vowed that "we would respond" if there were an attack against a fellow member of NATO. Then he added, "same with Japan, same with South Korea, and same with Taiwan."
Two months later, during a town hall meeting that was broadcast on television, Mr. Biden was asked if the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion. He responded by saying, "Yes, we have a commitment to achieve that." That sparked a frenetic attempt by the White House to walk back his remark by claiming that he was not changing the policy that has been in place for a long time. The United States has never provided the same security guarantees to Taiwan that it has offered to Japan, South Korea, or any of America's NATO allies; hence, the comment was taken very seriously.
The president's customary practice is to reject the precautions that his staff would recommend he take while addressing foes located in other countries. In March, in answer to a query from a reporter, President Joe Biden took a bolder stance than his government had previously taken by labeling President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a war criminal. A scant week later, he caused a stir when he ad-libbed a remark saying that Mr. Putin "cannot continue in power" at the close of his speech in Poland.
Asia has been paying careful attention to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia to glean any relevant insights that may apply to China's decades-long goal of reincorporating Taiwan. Some others believed that if Russia had successfully annexed Ukraine, which was a part of its empire in the past, it would set a dangerous precedent. However, Russia's embarrassing inability to completely take control of the country and the concerted response from the western nations may serve as a warning against further military meddling.
According to Taiwan's Defense Ministry, China, which has considered Taiwan to be one of its provinces for more than seven decades, sent 14 aircraft into the air defense zone of the island last week on the day that Mr. Biden arrived in Asia. This is part of a pattern of increasing incursions over the course of the last year. In response, Taiwan called for the deployment of its fighter jets, but there were no reports of an actual conflict.
On Monday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed "thanks" to President Obama for reiterating the United States' "rock-solid commitment to Taiwan" and praised the most recent comments made by President Joe Biden. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement stating that Taiwan would "continue to develop its self-defense capabilities and deepen cooperation with the United States and Japan as well as other countries of a like mind."
On the other hand, Beijing has responded to the president's words by issuing a formal denial statement. "On issues concerning China's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and other core interests, China has no room for compromise," Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told reporters. He added that no one should underestimate China's determination to defend itself, and he emphasized that China has no room for negotiation on these issues.
As the event came to a close, President Joe Biden chose to disregard shouted questions regarding the specifics of potential military involvement in Taiwan and whether or not he would be willing to deploy American troops on the island. These remarks were made by President Joe Biden only a little over an hour before he publicly introduced a new 13-nation economic framework for the Indo-Pacific region. This framework is designed to serve as a response to the influence that China has in the region.
During the news conference, Mr. Kishida voiced his concern about a conflict over Taiwan similar to the one in Ukraine. He used strong language when referring to China. He added that any "unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force like Russia's aggression against Ukraine this time should never be permitted in the Indo-Pacific," he added. "Any attempt to change the status quo unilaterally by force can never be tolerated in the Indo-Pacific."
Despite this, he remained steadfast in his commitment to the long-standing policy. Before the president's remarks, he insisted that the United States and Japan's approach to the island had not changed. "The fundamental perspective that our two countries hold on Taiwan has not altered," he stated.
The unplanned remark made by Mr. Biden placed Japan in a precarious situation. Because Taiwan lies only 65 miles away from Yonaguni, the westernmost populated island of Japan, a war with China might potentially have significant repercussions for Japan, which has rejected the idea of engaging in armed warfare ever since it was defeated in World War II.
According to Narushige Michishita, deputy president of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, "Certainly, Mr. Biden said 'America is in.'" "If that's the case, then Japan will join as well."
Even though Mr. Kishida would not be as forthright as Mr. Biden, he added that his administration intends to increase the budget for the military, in addition to discussing plans to acquire weapons that can strike missile launch sites in enemy territory and to engage in more joint exercises with the United States military.
Joe Biden says US would defend Taiwan if attacked by China