Our “commitment” – Biden: US would defend Taiwan militarily

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US President Joe Biden said the US would also militarily defend Taiwan in the event of an attack. China has no right to take Taiwan by force, he emphasized Monday at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo. “It’s a commitment we’ve made,” Biden said.

Taking Taiwan by force would destabilize the entire region and be similar to what happened in Ukraine, Biden said, referring to Russia’s war of aggression. “We remain committed to supporting peace and stability in the strait and ensuring that there is no unilateral change in the status quo,” the US president said regarding the strait between mainland China and Taiwan. China’s behavior, including military maneuvers and flights near the island, “is flirting with danger,” he added. However, he does not assume that China will actually attempt to attack Taiwan.

Biden had already stated late last year that the United States has an “obligation” to assist Taiwan in an attack. The communist leadership in Beijing considers Taiwan part of the People’s Republic and threatens to conquer it. The United States has committed itself to Taiwan’s ability to defend itself – which so far has mainly resulted in arms shipments. The issue of military assistance in the event of an attack was deliberately left open because Beijing saw this as a violation of the “One China Doctrine”. With this US ‘strategic ambiguity’, Beijing should remain uncertain about what the US would do in the event of war.

The United States has so far reserved the right to formal military assistance in Asia from its closest allies Japan and South Korea. The US armed forces also have a military presence there.

Separated part of the country
The conflict over Taiwan’s status dates back to China’s civil war, when National China Party (Kuomintang) troops under Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan after being defeated by Mao Zedong’s communists. Since the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949, Beijing has regarded the island as a separate part of the country. In a white paper presented in July 2019, Beijing reiterated its threats to retake the island republic, using military force if necessary. “Taiwan’s full reunification with China is in China’s fundamental interest,” it said.

Close cooperation between Japan and the US
Meanwhile, the US and Japan are drawing even closer together given China’s growing power drive in the region. After Biden and Kishida’s meeting, the White House said both countries agreed to “work closely” to counter China’s increasingly dominating behavior “contrary to international law.”

Biden praised Kishida for his cooperation in sanctions against Russia. Japan is a “major world leader” and the US remains “completely committed to the defense of Japan,” he confirmed. Kishida was once again pleased that despite the war in Ukraine, Biden “wants to further increase his commitment in the Indo-Pacific region”.

Source: Krone

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