Biden says his Taiwan comments don’t reflect a change in U.S. policy after drawing ire from China

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  • President Joe Biden insisted on Tuesday that the US had not changed its strategic policy on Taiwan.
  • Asked by a reporter on Monday whether he was “willing to join militarily to defend Taiwan,” Biden said “yes.”
  • Those comments came as a surprise as a departure from decades of US policy, which chose to remain vague about the extent to which Washington would defend the island.
  • Despite Biden’s clarification for the second day, it remains unclear whether the president’s remarks were false or intentional.

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President Joe Biden insisted on Tuesday that the US had not changed its strategic policy on Taiwan, a day after he angered Beijing when he said his administration would be ready to use military force to defend the island. .

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Biden met with leaders of Japan, India and Australia at his second so-called Quad Leaders Summit, which concluded in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The US president surprised many delegates when he suggested on Monday that the US could put US troops in Taiwan if China invades. Asked by a reporter whether he was “willing to join militarily to defend Taiwan,” Biden said “yes.”

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Those comments came as a surprise to world leaders as a departure from decades of US policy warning China against the use of force in Taiwan – but opted to remain vague about the extent to which it would protect the island. will protect

The president clarified his statement on Tuesday after ending talks with global leaders in Tokyo.

“The policy hasn’t changed at all,” he said, when asked whether his previous comments signaled the end of the US approach to the strategic ambiguity US diplomats have followed for decades. “I said that when I made my statement yesterday.”

Biden’s initial announcement during his first visit to Asia as president escalated tensions between the US and the communist Chinese government, which believes Taiwan is a part of its territory and does not exist as a sovereign nation. It is possible

Despite Biden’s clarification for the second day, it remains unclear whether the president’s remarks were false or intentional. Still, the White House was quick to deliver a moderating message in an email to CNBC.

“As the president said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China policy and our commitment to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” a White House official told CNBC in an email.

The One China Policy recognizes that the Communist People’s Republic of China is the only legal government of China and accepts informal relations with the people of Taiwan.

“He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with military means to defend itself,” the White House official said.

Chinese Communist leaders, however, were not convinced.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin warned on Monday that “no one should underestimate the strong determination, determination and capability of the Chinese people in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“No one should stand against the 1.4 billion Chinese people,” he said.

This is not the first time White House aides have attempted to silence the remarks made by the president.

Biden sparked a political storm in March when he said in Poland that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power.” Later that day, a White House official attempted to clarify that Biden was “not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”

Former Defense Department analyst Devadric McNeill insisted the president’s remarks were not a mistake.

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  • Biden says US ready to use force to defend Taiwan – signals a response from China

“It was not wrong or wrong on President Biden’s part – his view may not be the view of his advisers,” McNeil, a CNBC contributor, wrote Tuesday morning. “It was a very deliberate statement to send a signal not only to Beijing but also to Taipei,” the capital of Taiwan.

The promise of US military intervention would also affect the provisions of the US-China Taiwan Relations Act, which has guided geopolitical policy in Asia since 1979.

The act obliges the United States to “maintain the ability of the United States to resist any measure of force or other forms of coercion that endangers the safety of the people, or the social or economic order, of Taiwan.”

While the law does not compel Washington to use US forces to defend Taiwan from Chinese aggression, it has long been seen as an unmistakable pledge to maintain current order on the self-governing island.

“Biden wants to make it clear to the world that American commitments mean something,” McNeil said.

McNeil, now a policy analyst at Longview Global, said Biden believes many of the assumptions underpinning America’s “strategic ambiguity” policy are questionable.

He explained that some of those assumptions included the belief that China’s military capabilities would not extend beyond Taiwan and that discussions between Beijing and Taipei would lead to a peaceful solution.

While the US president may still believe in the One China policy as the Communist Party controls China, Biden’s remarks may reflect a desire to modernize a policy of “strategic ambiguity” to those old notions.

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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