US will protect Taiwan if China attacks – Biden says

Mr Biden said the US had a "commitment to do that" when asked if the US would defend Taiwan

Mr Biden said the US had a “commitment to do that” when asked if the US would defend Taiwan

President Joe Biden declared that the US would protect Taiwan if China attacked, in a very clear departure from a long-held US international policy position.

Still a White House spokesperson thereafter told some US media outlets that his comments did not signal a change in policy.

The US has a law which necessitate it to assist Taiwan protect itself.

Nonetheless it pursues a policy of “strategic ambiguity,” where it is intentionally unclear about what it would really do if China were to fight Taiwan.

China has yet to reply to Mr Biden’s comments.

What is the ‘One China’ policy?
What’s behind the China-Taiwan divide?

What did Biden and the White House say?

At a CNN town hall proceeding, a participator allude to recent reports that China had tested a hypersonic missile. He put a question to Mr Biden if he could “vow to protect Taiwan”, and what he would do to keep up with China’s military development.

Mr Biden replied: “Yes and yes.” He then added that there was no need to

“worry about whether they’re going to be more powerful”, since “China, Russia and the rest of the world knows we’re the most powerful military in the history of the world”.

He was then questioned a second time by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper if the US would come to Taiwan’s protection in the event of an attack by China. Mr Biden replied:

“Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”

A White House spokesman later seem to walk back Mr Biden’s comments, informing US media outlets that the US was

“not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy”.

This is not the first time this has occurred. In August, Mr Biden seem to suggest the same stance on Taiwan in an discussion with ABC News. The White House had also declared then that US policy on Taiwan had not changed.

The US has no official diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, but sells firearms to it as part of its Taiwan Relations Act, which states that the US must provide the island with the means to protect itself.

It has formal relationship with China, and also diplomatically admits China’s stand that there is only one Chinese government.

How have Taiwan and China reacted?
Taiwan’s presidential office has responded that it would neither surrender to pressure nor “rashly advance” when it gets support.

presidential spokesperson Xavier Cheng said,

“Taiwan will show a firm determination to defend itself,”

He also went on to confirm the Biden administration’s relentless show of “rock-solid” support for Taiwan.

China has not yet replied. Yet earlier on Thursday, before Mr Biden’s town hall, China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun accused the US of

“taking dangerous actions, leading the situation in the Taiwan Strait into a dangerous direction”.

anxieties have been on increase between Taiwan and China in recent weeks after Beijing flew dozens of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone.

With all the current rumors of war for control of Taiwan, it’s vital to remember a few things.

Any move by Beijing to retake the island by force would be a fatal, tough task.

This doesn’t really mean it will never occur but the Chinese leader who declared an attack would be approving Han Chinese attacking Han Chinese in a bloody, ideological conflict with high-tech lethal weaponry.

It wouldn’t matter how well the Chinese government may have accepted it had organized people on the mainland for such a dispute, pumping them with propaganda about Taiwanese splittists et cetera.

It wouldn’t matter how impressively the war mongering Global Times newspaper had painted the struggle; any images of distantly related enemy soldiers lying dead on the beaches of Kenting would be hard to cover-up.

At that time, after seizing Taiwan, there would also be the not insignificant challenge of holding control of a territory where the huge majority of the 24 million-strong population are against Communist Party rule.
Except for being responsible for all this, the leader who declared such an offensive would also be liable for causing huge regional uncertainty, potentially drawing in troops from the United States as well as other countries like Australia or even Japan.

Xi Jinping would obviously love to re-unite Taiwan with the Chinese mainland under his leadership but, when you sum up all this, you can see how excessive the stakes are.

in spite of more and more fiery rhetoric coming out of some Chinese media outlets you would have to think that cooler heads in the Chinese government would not be planning an impending strike.

Although, with China’s increasing military power, these assessment could all change within a matter of years.

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