Biden: The United States will intervene with the military to protect Taiwan

TOKYO (AP) – President Joe Biden on Monday said the United States would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan, declaring that the commitment to protect the island was “even stronger” after Russia’s occupation of Ukraine.. This is one of the strongest presidential statements in support of Taiwan’s self-government for decades.

Biden said “yes” at a news conference in Tokyo when asked if he would like to join the army to protect Taiwan if China invades. “This is a commitment we have made,” he added.

The United States has traditionally avoided providing such a transparent security guarantee to Taiwan, with which it no longer has a mutual defense agreement, and instead maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about how far it is prepared to go. The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 governs US relations with the islandThe United States does not need to enter the military if China invades, but makes it US policy to ensure that Taiwan has the resources to defend itself and prevent Beijing’s unilateral transition.

A White House official said Biden’s remarks did not reflect a change in US policy, and when asked by reporters whether Biden’s response indicated that the United States would do more to help Taiwan than he did, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin echoed the sentiment. Ukraine and the United States promise to send troops to help Taiwan in the event of an invasion.

“Our one-China policy has not changed, as the President said,” Austin told the Pentagon. “He reiterated our policy and commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He reiterated our commitment to provide means for Taiwan to defend itself under the Taiwan Relations Act. Therefore, there is no change in our policy again.”

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But Biden’s words received a sharp response from the mainland of China, which claimed Taiwan. Must be a rogue province.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenpin expressed “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to Biden’s comments. “China has no room for compromise or concessions on issues related to China’s core interests, such as sovereignty and regional integrity.”

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“China will take decisive action to protect its sovereignty and security interests and will do what we say,” he added.

Speaking to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden said any attempt by China to use force against Taiwan would be “inappropriate” and that it would “relocate the entire region and be another move similar to what happened in Ukraine.”

China has stepped up its military provocations It aims to intimidate Beijing into accepting its demands for unity with the communist landscape against democratic Taiwan in recent years.

“They are already flying too close and flirting with all the maneuvers being carried out,” Biden said of China.

Under the “one China” policy, the United States recognizes Beijing as China’s government and has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, the United States maintains unofficial contacts, including a practical embassy in the capital, Taipei, and provides military equipment for the island’s security.

Biden said his “expectation” was that China would not try to seize Taiwan by force, but added that “it depends on the strength of the world to make it clear that such action will lead to long-term humiliation.” The rest of the community. “

He further added that preventing China from invading Taiwan was one of the reasons why Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was important to “pay a precious price for his barbarism in Ukraine.”

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Biden, who did not want any expansion with nuclear-armed Russia, quickly rejected US involvement in direct confrontation with Russia. But the United States has sent billions of dollars in military aid, which has helped Ukraine mount stronger resistance to Russia’s offensive than expected.

Encouraged by Taipei Biden’s comments, Foreign Ministry spokesman John O’Brien said he was “truly welcome and grateful.”

“China’s challenge to the protection of the Taiwan Strait has caused great concern in the international community,” Ou said. “Taiwan will enhance its defensive capabilities and deepen cooperation with the United States, Japan and other like-minded countries to jointly safeguard peace, stability and the security of the Taiwan Strait and the rule of law. Prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”

This is not the first time Biden has promised to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression, and executives have argued that there has been no change in US policy. At a CNN town hall in October, Biden was asked about using the U.S. military to defend Taiwan, to which he replied, “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”

Taiwan is not the only foreign policy issue that the White House has clarified or backtracked on. In March, he declared Putin a war criminalGen. Zaki, the then press secretary, said the president was “speaking from the heart” even though no legal decision had been reached on the issue.

During a March speech in Poland, Biden said of Putin, “This man cannot be in power.” White House officials say Biden did not call for regime change in Russia.

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Biden’s recent comments on Taiwan came shortly before the formal launch of his long – awaited Indo – Pacific trade agreement. It excludes Taiwan.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed on Sunday that Taiwan was not among the governments that signed the Indo-Pacific economic framework, which would allow the United States to work more closely with key Asian economies on issues such as supply chains and digital trade. , Clean energy and anti-corruption.

The addition of Taiwan would have annoyed China.

Sullivan said the United States wants to deepen its economic partnership with Taiwan on a one-to-one basis.

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Miller reported from Washington. Darlene Superville, an Associated Press writer in Washington, DC, contributed to the report.

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