Sunday, June 16, 2024

US promises to protect Taiwan if China ever attacks, says Biden

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Noah Fisher
After serving as a lead author in leading magazines, Noah Fisher planned to launch its own venture as DailyResearchEditor. With a decade-long work experience in the media and passion in technology and gadgets, he founded this website. Fisher now enjoys writing on research-based topics. When he’s not hunched over the keyboard, Fisher spends his time engulfed in critical matters of the society.
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President Joe Biden said the United States would defend Taiwan if China attacked, in an apparent departure from a long-standing U.S. foreign policy position.

But a White House spokesman later told several U.S. media outlets that his comments did not mean a change in policy.

The United States has a law that requires it to help Taiwan defend itself.

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But it pursues a policy of “strategic ambiguity”, where it is deliberately vague about what it would actually do if China attacked Taiwan.

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

At a CNN town hall event, a participant reported on recent reports that China had tested a hypersonic missile. He asked Mr Biden if he could “promise to protect Taiwan” and what he would do to keep up with China’s military development.

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Mr Biden replied, “Yes and yes.” He added that there was no need to “worry about becoming more powerful” because “China, Russia and the rest of the world know that we are the most powerful military in the history of the world”.

He was then asked a second time by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper whether the U.S. would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of an attack by China. Mr Biden replied: “Yes, we have a commitment to do so.”

A White House spokesman appeared to return to Mr Biden’s comments later, telling U.S. media that the U.S. “did not announce any change in our policy and that there would be no change in our policy”.

This is not the first time this has happened. In August, Mr Biden appeared to suggest the same stance on Taiwan in an interview with ABC News. The White House then also said that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not changed.

The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but sells arms to them under its Taiwan Relations Act, which states that the United States must enter the island to defend itself.

It has formal relations with China, and also diplomatically acknowledges China’s position that there is only one Chinese government.

Taiwan’s presidential office has said it will not give in to pressure or “proceed cautiously” if it receives support.

“Taiwan will show a determined determination to defend itself,” said Presidential Speaker Xavier Cheng, who also acknowledged to the Biden administration the show’s further show of “rock-solid” support for Taiwan.

China has not yet responded. But earlier on Thursday, in front of Mr Biden City Hall, China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun accused the United States of “taking dangerous actions, leading the situation on the Taiwan road in a dangerous direction.”

Tensions have risen between Taiwan and China in recent weeks after Beijing flew dozens of warplanes into Taiwan’s delivery defense zone.

With all the recent talks about war for control of Taiwan, it is important to remember a few things.

Any attempt by Beijing to retake the island by force would be a gruesome, difficult task.

This does not mean that it will never happen but the Chinese leader who ordered an attack would fight Han Chinese against Han Chinese in a bloody, ideological conflict with high-tech fatal weapons.

It would not matter how well the Chinese government could have believed that it had prepared the people on the mainland for such a conflict, they were using propaganda about Taiwanese splitists and so on.

It would not matter how glorious the war-mongering Global Times newspaper represented the campaign; all images of far-flung enemy soldiers lying dead on the beaches of Kenting would be difficult to wash.

Then, after taking over Taiwan, it would also be the not uncommon challenge to maintain control over a territory where the vast majority of the 24 million strong population is against the Communist Party rule.

In addition to being responsible for all of this, the leader who ordered such an offensive would also be responsible for causing massive regional instability, potentially pulling troops out of the U.S. and even other countries like Australia or even Japan.

Xi Jinping would clearly like to reunite Taiwan with the Chinese mainland under his leadership, but if you add all this, you can see how high the rates are.

Despite the increasingly fiery rhetoric coming out of certain Chinese media, you should be of the opinion that cooler heads in the Chinese government are not considering a takeover attack.

However, with China’s increasing military power, these calculations may change every few years.

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