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Joe Biden told reporters that the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if China were to try to take it by force.
Standing alongside the Japanese prime minister, Biden was asked directly, “Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?”
“Yes,” Biden responded. “That’s the commitment we made. That’s the commitment we made.”
“Look, here’s the situation. We agree with the ‘One China’ policy … but the idea that to be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not appropriate,” Biden continued. “It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.” Watch the clip:
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) May 23, 2022
The “One China” policy recognizes Beijing as the representative government of China, but considers Taiwan’s status unsettled.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to Biden’s comments.
“China has no room for compromise or concessions on issues involving China’s core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
“The White House quickly walked back Biden’s comments at the time, saying he was not announcing a policy change,” according to The Hill.
“As the president said, our policy has not changed,” a White House spokesperson said.
“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.”
White House officials walk back on President Biden's remark that the US military would intervene to defend Taiwan in any attack from China — comments that appeared to break from the longstanding US policy of "strategic ambiguity" https://t.co/vUIT6OlctD
— Bloomberg (@business) May 23, 2022
Biden has nominally claimed to be wary of starting WWIII. Recently he's threatened Russia with regime change, and now threatens direct war with China. For a guy who is supposedly wary of WWIII, he's certainly been "loose-lipped" with unprecedented provocations of major powers
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) May 23, 2022
However, it remains entirely unknown and unclear what “commitment” the president is talking about, given there’s currently no mutual defense treaty between the US and Taiwan (President Carter had terminated the historic Mutual Defense Treaty/MDT). Is President Biden confused? Is he latching on to pre-1979 memories in US foreign policy?
Naturally, the White House quickly scrambled to try and walk back the president’s clear affirmation that he would send a US military force against nuclear-armed superpower China in the event of an invasion. A statement said that the US policy “has not changed.”
“As the president said, our policy has not changed,” a White House spokesperson said, clearly attempting to downplay and obfuscate Biden’s own words. “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.”
A number of observers have noted that Biden just casually committed the US to deepened involvement against China, and another future catastrophic war…