President Biden Says the U.S. Is Committed to Military Defense of Taiwan, White House Immediately Back-Tracks

President Biden landed yesterday in Yokota Air Base for a three day visit to the United States’ greatest Pacific ally. He has already made significant waves with China. During a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, President Biden was asked:

“You didn’t want to get involved in the Ukraine conflict militarily for obvious reasons. Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?” a reporter asked.
“Yes,” Biden replied. “That’s the commitment we made.”
“We agree with the One China policy. We signed on to it, and all the attendant agreements made from there, but the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is (just not) appropriate,” he said. He also went on to say that China has been “flirting with danger” over its handling of its relationship with Taiwan. When asked if he believed that an invasion would take place he said “my expectation is, it will not happen, it will not be attempted.”
Interestingly, he also alluded to the situation in Ukraine and relationship it has to China- Taiwan relations. He said President Putin must be made to “pay a price” to show China, what the cost would be if they attempted an invasion of the island nation.
These comments sent shockwaves through the Chinese Communist Party, who were already skeptical about the Presidential visit to the Pacific. “On issues related to China’s sovereignty; territorial integrity, China has no room for compromise. No one should underestimate the determination of Chinese people,” responded Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The White House immediately backpedaled in an official statement reiterating the One China Policy and that there has been no change to the United States’ position. However, they did qualify President Biden’s statements by saying that the United States will provide weapons and material support to the Taiwanese, stopping short of providing actual troops.
However, as we covered earlier this week, the Guangdong Military Region’s leaked plan of attack against Taiwan would involve a massive naval blockade, cutting off the Taiwanese Strait and deploying anti-ship missile to prevent foreign interference during an invasion. So it is not clear how the United States could possibly provide Taiwan with assistance during a Chinese invasion if the Eastern and Southern military districts enforce a blockade of the Strait and the island itself.

The term One China may refer to one of the following:

  • The One China principle is the position held by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that there is only one sovereign state under the name China, with the PRC serving as the sole legitimate government of that China, and Taiwan is a part of China. It is opposed to the idea that there are two states holding the name “China”, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC); as well as the idea that China and Taiwan form two separate countries.
  • One China with respective interpretations refers to the Kuomintang (KMT) interpretation of the 1992 Consensus which asserts that the PRC and ROC had agreed that there is one China, but disagreed on whether China is represented by the PRC or ROC. This interpretation of the 1992 Consensus has not been accepted by the PRC.
  • The One China policy refers to a United States policy which recognizes the PRC as the sole legal government of China, but only acknowledges, and does not endorse, the PRC position that Taiwan is part of China. Thus, the United States has formal relations with the PRC and simultaneously maintains its unofficial relations with Taiwan. (wiki)

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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