The United States is intervening with the military to protect Taiwan – Daily Local
JOSH BOUKE, AMER MADHANI and ZEK MILLER
TOKYO (AP) – President Joe Biden said on Monday that the United States would intervene in hostilities if China invaded Taiwan, saying the burden of defending Taiwan was “even stronger” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was one of the president’s strongest statements in support of self-government in decades.
At a news conference in Tokyo, Biden said “yes” when asked if he was ready to take military action to defend Taiwan if China invaded. “This is a commitment we have made,” he added.
The United States has traditionally avoided giving Taiwan such a clear security guarantee that it no longer has a treaty of mutual protection, instead maintaining a policy of “strategic ambiguity” as to how far it is willing to go in the event of a Chinese invasion. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which regulates U.S. relations with the island, does not require U.S. military intervention to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, but obliges U.S. policy to provide Taiwan with resources to defend and prevent any unilateral action. change of status in Taiwan by Beijing.
Biden’s comments provoked a sharp reaction from the mainland, which declared Taiwan an outcast province.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressed “strong dissatisfaction and strong opposition” to Biden’s comments. “China has no room for compromise or concessions on issues affecting China’s core interests, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
He added: “China will take strong measures to protect its sovereignty and security interests, and we will do what we say.”
A White House spokesman said Biden’s comments did not reflect a shift in policy.
Speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishido, Biden said any attempt by China to use force against Taiwan would be “simply inappropriate”, adding that it would “move the whole region and become another action similar to what happened in Ukraine “.
China has stepped up its military provocations against democratic Taiwan in recent years, aimed at intimidating it into agreeing to Beijing’s demands for reunification with the communist mainland.
“They are already flirting with danger, flying so close and all the maneuvers that are being done,” Biden said of China.
Under United China policy, the United States recognizes Beijing as China’s government and has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, the United States maintains informal contacts, including an actual embassy in the capital Taipei, and supplies military equipment to protect the island.
Biden said he “expects” that China will not try to seize Taiwan by force, but he said the assessment “depends on how strongly the world will make it clear that such actions will lead to long-term rejection by the rest of the community.”
He added that deterring China from attacking Taiwan was one of the reasons why it was important for Russian President Vladimir Putin to “pay a high price for his barbarism in Ukraine” so that China and other countries would not think such actions were acceptable.
Fearing an escalation with nuclear Russia, Biden quickly ruled out US forces in direct conflict with Russia, but he sent billions of dollars in U.S. military aid, helping Ukraine put up tougher-than-expected resistance to Russian pressure.
Taipei encouraged Biden’s remarks, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Joan Ou expressed “sincere greetings and gratitude” for the comments.
“China’s challenge to the security of the Taiwan Straits has caused great concern in the international community,” Ou said. “Taiwan will continue to improve its self-defense capabilities, as well as deepen cooperation with the United States and Japan and other like-minded countries to jointly defend the security of the Taiwan Strait and a rules-based international order while promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.” .
This is not the first time Biden has promised to protect Taiwan from Chinese attack, only to have administration officials later claim that American policy has not changed. In October, CNN’s Biden City Hall was asked about the use of the U.S. military to defend Taiwan, and he replied, “Yes, we have an obligation to do so.”
Biden’s comments came shortly before he officially launched the long-awaited Indo-Pacific trade pact, which excludes Taiwan.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed Sunday that Taiwan is not among the governments that have signed on to the Indo-Pacific Economic Mechanism, which should allow the U.S. to work more closely with key Asian economies on issues such as supply chains, digital commerce , clean energy and the fight against corruption.
The inclusion of Taiwan would anger China.
Sullivan said the United States wants to deepen a one-on-one economic partnership with Taiwan.
Miller reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Darlene Superville of Washington contributed to this report.