Biden on Taiwan: the United States is ready to react “militarily” in the event of a Chinese attack


At a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, Biden was asked if the United States would be willing to go further to help Taiwan in the event of an invasion than it has. with Ukraine.

“You didn’t want to get involved militarily in the Ukrainian conflict for obvious reasons. Are you ready to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if that were to happen?” asked a reporter.

“Yes,” Biden replied. “That’s the commitment we made.”

“We agree with the one-China policy. We signed it and all the agreements under it, but the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is (just) not appropriate,” he said. .

Under the “One China” policy, the United States recognizes China’s position that Taiwan is part of China, but has never officially acknowledged Beijing’s claim to the 23 million self-governing island. ‘inhabitants. The United States provides defensive weapons to Taiwan, but has remained intentionally ambiguous about whether it would intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.

While the president has made similar comments in the past – including during a town hall on CNN in October, only for the White House to backtrack and insist that longstanding US policy has no not changed towards the island – this time, Biden’s strong warning was carried out on the doorstep of China during his first trip to Asia as president. This visit aims to unite allies and partners to counter the growing influence of China.

It also came a day before Biden was due to attend the second in-person summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) – an informal grouping between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that has alarmed Beijing.

Several of Biden’s top administration officials were taken aback by the remarks, several aides told CNN, adding that they did not expect Biden to be so unequivocal.

In a statement following Biden’s comments, a White House official said the official US position remained unchanged.

“As the President said, our policy has not changed. 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,” the official said.

China voices ‘firm opposition’ to comments

Within hours, China had expressed its “strong displeasure and firm opposition” to Biden’s comments, saying it would not allow any outside force to interfere in its “internal affairs”.

“On issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for compromise,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry.

“We urged the US side to earnestly follow the one-China principle… be careful in your words and deeds on the Taiwan issue, and send no bad signals to pro-Taiwan independence and separatist forces – so that it does not cause serious damage to the situation across the Taiwan Strait and to China-US relations.”

Taiwan is less than 110 miles (177 kilometers) off the coast of China. For more than 70 years, the two parts were governed separately, but that did not stop the ruling Chinese Communist Party from claiming the island as its own, although it never controlled it.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said “reunification” between China and Taiwan was inevitable and refused to rule out the use of force. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei are at their highest level in decades, with the Chinese military sending a record number of warplanes near the island.

Joanne Ou, spokesperson for the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told CNN that it “expresses its sincere welcome and gratitude to President Biden and the government of the United States for reiterating their strong commitment to Taiwan.”

Biden compares potential Taiwan invasion to war in Ukraine

5 Asian military hotspots and how they play into Biden's visit

Biden on Monday compared a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, warning, “This will tear the whole region apart” and stressing that “Russia has to pay a long-term price.” term for his actions.

“And the reason why I bother to say this, not just about Ukraine – if, in fact, after all (Russian President Vladimir Putin did) there is a rapprochement … between the Ukrainians and Russia, and these sanctions are not being supported in many ways, so what signal does this send to China about the cost of an attempt, an attempt to take over Taiwan by force ?”

Biden said China is “already flirting with danger right now by flying so close and all the maneuvers it does.”

“But the United States is committed, we are committed, we support the one-China policy, we support everything we’ve done in the past, but that doesn’t mean, that doesn’t mean China has the ability, has the, excuse me, jurisdiction to come in and use force to take over Taiwan,” he added.

During the press conference, Kishida also reiterated the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

“Attempts to change the status quo by force, such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, should never be tolerated in the Indo-Pacific, especially in East Asia,” he said. declared.

“As the regional security environment grows increasingly severe, I have reaffirmed with President Biden that we must rapidly strengthen the deterrence and response of the Japan-US alliance,” he said, adding that he expressed his determination to “fundamentally strengthen Japan’s defense capability”. “

This story has been updated with additional reports and reaction.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.

Source link


Comments are closed.