- When asked if the US would defend Taiwan, Mr. Biden replied the US had a “commitment to do that.”
- When it comes to the sensitive topic of defending Taiwan, the United States has long adopted “strategic ambiguity.”
- Tensions between Taiwan and China have risen in recent weeks as Beijing launched dozens of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone.
The US will come to Taiwan’s rescue and has promised to protect the island China claims as its own territory, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday, appearing to break with official policy.
“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall when asked if the US will come to Taiwan’s rescue, which has complained about growing military and political pressure from Beijing to recognise Chinese sovereignty.
While the US is legally bound to help Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has continuously implemented a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the case of a Chinese attack. According to a Biden administration official, US policy on Taiwan has not changed since the president appeared to signal that the US would defend the island if it was attacked.
Biden stated that people need not be concerned about Washington’s military capability since “China, Russia, and the rest of the world understands we’re the most powerful military in the history of the world.”
“What you have to worry about is whether or not they’re going to engage in activities that put them in a situation where they may make a serious mistake,” Biden said. “I’m not interested in a cold war with China.” I simply want China to know that we’re not going to back down, that we’re not going to change our views.”
Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng warned last month that military tensions between Taiwan and China are at their peak in more than 40 years, adding that China will be capable of conducting a “full-scale” invasion by 2025.
Taiwan asserts that it is an independent country that will defend its freedoms and democracy. China sees Taiwan as the most crucial and sensitive issue in its ties with the United States, and it has criticised Washington and Taipei’s “collusion.”
Earlier on Thursday, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun told reporters that the country is pursuing “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan and is countering to “separatist attempts” by its ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
“We are not the troublemakers. On the contrary, certain countries, particularly the United States, are adopting risky moves, escalating the situation in the Taiwan Strait,” he added. “I believe that at this time, what we should demand for is that the United States stop such practise.” Nobody’s interests are served by dragging Taiwan into a war. “I don’t see how the United States will benefit from this.”