When asked at a press conference in Japan if the United States would defend Taiwan if China invaded it, President Joe Biden emphatically replied that “yes” we would, sending the White House into a predictable panic as they rushed to clarify that’s not what he really meant.
“Very quickly, 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 the president.
“Yes,” Biden succinctly replied.
“You are?” the reporter pressed.
“That’s the commitment we made,” he replied, before clarifying that the U.S. stands by the One China policy.
“Look, here’s the situation. We agree with the One China policy,” he stated, “but the idea that to 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.”
To be clear, the problem isn't that Joe Biden says that the US will intervene militarily if Taiwan is invaded. The problem is that it's totally unclear if that's true or if we even have the capacity to do so, and it's even more unclear when his own White House keeps shushing him.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 23, 2022
He also said that Russia must pay a “dear price” for its invasion of Ukraine. “If Russia is not held accountable,” Biden said according to USA Today, “then what signal does that send to China about the cost of attempting, of attempting, to take Taiwan by force?”
“They’re already flirting with danger right now by flying so close and all the maneuvers that are undertaken,” he asserted.
It’s long been assumed that the U.S. would step in militarily if China attempted to invade Taiwan. But Under the “One China” policy, the U.S. does not officially recognize Taiwan as a separate state from China. Instead, the U.S. has agreed to supply Taiwan with military aid in the form of weapons, not boots on the ground under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.
This is ostensibly the third time that Biden has said we would militarily defend Taiwan, according to CNN. The White House asserted there has been no change to the One China policy.
“As the president said, our policy has not changed,” a spokesperson said. “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.”
“He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.” 2/2
— Sebastian Smith (@SebastianAFP) May 23, 2022
China used its most powerful bombers to buzz American airforce bases in Japan Wednesday in a show of military might and a not-so-subtle warning over Taiwan. Biden’s statement did not help the tensions that are mounting over the issue.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin voiced China’s “resolute opposition” and outrage over Biden’s comments, expressing their “strong dissatisfaction.”
“On issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for compromise,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry,
“We urged the US side to earnestly follow the One China principle … be cautious in words and deeds on the Taiwan issue, and not send any wrong signal to pro-Taiwan independence and separatist forces — so it won’t cause serious damage to the situation across the Taiwan Strait and China-US relations,” Wenbin threatened.
Biden's Taiwan comments are not a gaffe or accidental, and for that matter, the White House clarifications are not a reassurance. We must remember the entire modus operandi of this White House is to move the goalposts on Taiwan and officially deny they are doing so.
— Tom Fowdy (@Tom_Fowdy) May 23, 2022
No country should underestimate China’s “firm resolve, staunch will, and strong ability” to protect its sovereign and territorial interests, Wenbin told reporters on Monday in response to Biden’s comments, according to US News & World Report.
“PLA’s firepower in the Taiwan Straits has long surpassed that of US military,” Hu Xijin, who until last year oversaw China’s Global Times news outlet, tweeted on Monday, using an abbreviation for the People’s Liberation Army according to the media outlet. “Biden says US military would defend Taiwan – does Biden wish to bring those soldiers back in coffins or let them sink into the Taiwan Straits to feed the fish? So, let’s cherish peace together.”
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