October 7, 2022

President Joe Biden insisted Tuesday that he did not change US policy toward Taiwan after rattling China on Monday, responding in the affirmative when asked by a reporter if he would be “willing to get involved militarily” to defend the island.

‘The policy has not changed at all. I said that when I made my statement yesterday,” Biden told reporters at the Quad summit in Tokyo.

The president was first asked if the “strategic ambiguity” policy toward Taiwan was dead.

‘No,’ Biden replied.

Asked to explain further, Biden declined.

‘Did not say.

Biden insists US policy on Taiwan remains the same after

President Joe Biden insisted Tuesday that he did not change US policy toward Taiwan after rattling China on Monday, responding in the affirmative when asked by a reporter if he would be “willing to get involved militarily” to defend the island.

President Joe Biden (center left) was asked questions about his comments on Taiwan Tuesday as he participated in the quadruple scholarship announcement alongside (from left) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Prime Minister Indian Narendra Modi.

Biden met with Quad leaders Tuesday — Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida — to wrap up his first trip to Asia as president.

During a news conference with Kishida on Monday, Biden said he would be willing to get involved militarily if China invaded Taiwan, drawing parallels between that threat and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘Yes,’ Biden said. “That’s a commitment we made,” Biden replied when asked about the hot diplomatic topic.

Biden reiterated that the US agrees with the so-called ‘One China’ policy: that only the People’s Republic of China is ‘China’, thus the US diplomatic relationship with Taiwan is unofficial.

“But the idea that you can take by force, just take by force, is just not appropriate,” Biden said. “It will dislocate the entire region and it will be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.”

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Additionally, Biden said, “My expectation is that it will not happen, it will not be attempted.”

Chinese troops take part in a military exercise. Biden said Monday that Chin was “already flirting with danger” by holding military exercises near Taiwan.

But he condemned the military exercises that China was conducting. “They are already flirting with danger right now by flying so close and all the maneuvers that are done,” the president said.

A White House official asked to clarify the comment responded: “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.’

Biden was asked at the end of a news conference, held at Tokyo’s Akasaka Palace: ‘He didn’t want to get involved militarily in the Ukraine conflict for obvious reasons. Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, if it comes to that?’ – to which the president replied in the affirmative.

In response, China’s Foreign Ministry told Reuters that the United States should not defend Taiwan’s independence.

China criticized Biden’s comments, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressing “strong discontent and resolute opposition.”

“China has no room for compromises or concessions on issues involving China’s core interests, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

The United States is providing billions in arms and aid to Ukraine, but Biden has steadfastly refused to involve Americans in the fight.

The United States already provides fighter jets and Patriot missiles to Taiwan, but the official policy is deliberately ambiguous in keeping with the “one China” policy referred to by Biden.

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‘Our policy towards Taiwan has not changed at all. We remain committed to supporting peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and ensuring there is no unilateral change in the status quo,’ Biden said minutes earlier.

President Joe Biden said he would approve military action against China if it invaded Taiwan, drawing parallels between that threat and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during a Monday news conference in Tokyo.

Biden then pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ‘barbarism’ in Ukraine, highlighting the Russian bombing of Ukrainian schools, as well as repeated attacks on culturally significant sites in Ukraine.

“I think what Putin is trying to do is remove the identity of Ukraine, the identity. He can’t occupy it, but he can destroy his identity,” Biden said. “Russia has to pay a long-term price for that.”

The president asked “what signal does that send to China about the cost of trying to take Taiwan by force” if Russia was not adequately punished?

Biden declined to answer multiple questions about Taiwan at a later event on Monday.

His harsh speech came days after a joint US-South Korean statement explicitly mentioned Taiwan, despite public warnings from China.

“The two presidents reiterate the importance of preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an essential element for security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” according to the statement.

The White House had to clean up Biden’s comments last year that also declared a “commitment” to come to the aid of Taiwan.

Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in October after the comment: “There has been no change. The president was not announcing any changes in our policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy. There are no changes to our policy.

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That also drew a rebuke from China, with Wang Wenbin urging the US to “strictly abide by” the one-China principle and “be cautious in its words and actions on the Taiwan issue, and refrain from sending signals false to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces, or it will seriously damage Sino-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.’

President Joe Biden (left) participated in a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) in Tokyo on Monday.

Prior to Biden’s press conference commentary, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Taiwan would not be included in the 13-nation Indo-Pacific economic framework.

It was just another sign of how professional diplomats often try to handle issues so explosive they are often simply called “straits issues”. The inclusion of Taiwan would have irritated China.

His comments on Ukraine indicated that the brutal war on the other side of the war was never far from mind, even on a trip meant to show a focus on Asia and new economic cooperation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kishida said he repeatedly issued his own denunciations of Russia’s use of force in Ukraine, in language that could apply to the region as well.

‘Russia’s aggression against Ukraine undermines the foundations of the world order. And in no way can we allow such attempts to change the status quo in the future, anywhere in the world,” he said on Monday.

At the press conference, he said that Japan “firmly opposes the attempt to change the status quo by force” in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, a reference to Chinese territorial claims.

And he called for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” while raising “serious concern” about North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear tests.