President of the United States of America (USA) Joe Biden, on May 23, said that he would be willing to use force to help defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression in a comment that appeared to push the limits of the ambiguous U.S. policy toward the self-ruled island.
While the U.S. is still required by law to supply Taiwan with the norms to defend itself against Chinese aggression, it has long followed an approach of "strategic ambiguity" on whether it would interfere militarily to protect Taiwan in case of a Chinese attack, reported The Hindu.
U.S. To Back Taiwan Against Chinese Aggression: Joe Biden
After Biden made these remarks at a joint news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, an aide stated the U.S. President's statement conveyed no change in the long-standing American stance on Taiwan that China claims to be it's own.
While replying to a question on if the United States would defend Taiwan if it came under attack from its neighbour, the President said, "Yes! That's the commitment we made."
"We agree with a one-China policy. We've signed on to it and all the intended agreements made from there. But the idea that, that it (Taiwan) can be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not, is just not appropriate," the U.S. President further added.
Joe Biden then went on to add that he expects that such an event would not happen or be attempted. However, the remark was likely to be closely monitored in a region worried about Xi Jinping-led China's rising influence. Ann official of the White House later stated that there was no change in policy towards Taiwan. Meanwhile, Taiwan's foreign ministry has thanked President Biden for his backing.
The Everpresent Tension Between Taiwan And China
China considers Taiwan as its territory under its "one China" principle and has claimed that it is the most sensitive and vital problem in its relationship with Washington.
The Xi Jinping government has no room for concessions or compromise on subjects relating to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin was quoted as saying in a regular news briefing.
Back in October last year, Biden had made a similar statement and had said: "Yes, we have a commitment to do that" when asked if the United States would come to the defence of Taiwan. A White House spokesperson also revealed that Biden was not announcing any change in U.S. policy, while an analyst referred to the comment as a "gaffe".
In spite of the White House insistence that the May 23 comments by Biden did not represent a policy change, retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel and now a research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, Grant Newsham claimed that the suggestion was clear.
"This statement deserves to be taken seriously," Newsham stated. He also added that it's a clear statement that the U.S. will not sit back if China unleashes Taiwan attacks.
The U.S. President had also made other tough remarks regarding Beijing's increasingly assertive stance in the region, stating that he hoped Russian President Vladimir Putin would have to bare the consequences of his invasion of Ukraine in part to show China what it might face if it decided to invade Taiwan.
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