The US would come to Taiwan’s aid if China invaded, Biden finally says

President Joe Biden threw down the gauntlet in front of China on Monday, vowing to defend anti-communist Taiwan amid mounting threats from Beijing to seize the island by force from the prime minister of Japan, China’s historic enemy, who is craving a firm pledge from his American ally .

Biden left no doubt about what the Japanese sometimes see as Washington’s faltering resolve, and simply replied, “Yes, that’s the commitment we made,” when a reporter asked whether the US would exceed Taiwan’s 100 mark in the event of a Chinese attack -mile zone -wide Formosa Strait separating Taiwan from mainland China.

“The idea that it could be taken by force will upset the entire region,” Biden said in a crisis “much like Ukraine’s.”

However, the president, standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, cautiously danced around the issue of Beijing’s sovereignty, saying the communist government in Beijing is in fact “the only legal government in China”.

The White House said Biden’s comments did not represent a change in long-standing policy, but Biden added their importance by observing that China is “right now flirting with the danger by flying so close and all the maneuvers that are being undertaken.” Flights of Chinese planes over the waters between Taiwan and the mainland have been a particular concern for Japan, which is already at odds with China over the Senkaku Islands in waters close to Taiwan. Japan controls the senkakus that China claims along with Taiwan.

The US, Biden said, agreed to “the one China policy” as well as “any related agreements made from there.” Still, he said, “the idea that [Taiwan] can be taken by force, only taken by force” was “not appropriate”.

That confirmation, however, did not reassure Beijing, where a State Department spokesman said China would not relinquish its historic claim to Taiwan. There is “no room for compromise,” he said.

China’s claim to Taiwan has been crucial since Chiang Kaishek’s anti-communist “nationalist Chinese” forces fled to Taiwan before the communist takeover of mainland China in 1949. The US, under then-President Jimmy Carter, conferred diplomatic recognition on Chiang’s regime in December 1978, but has since supported Taiwan with arms and advice without signing a treaty. Taiwan and the US maintain diplomatic relations through an “American institute,” not an embassy, ​​in Taipei.

Biden’s declaration of Washington’s full support for Taiwan culminated in a mission to Northeast Asia in which he effectively repudiated the policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who angered both Japanese and Koreans by calling for US troops to withdraw and offering little support if so that would have been attacked by China or North Korea, both of which are now armed with missiles and nuclear weapons.

On Monday in Tokyo, Biden unveiled what many see as the culmination of his swing through the region, the Indo-Pacific Economic Initiative. In addition to the US, 12 countries are involved in the initiative, a successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which Trump withdrew on his first day as president in January 2017.

The new trade framework, such as Biden’s support of Taiwan in the event of an attack, has been another obvious challenge for China, which has asserted its power and influence across Asia from the Korean Peninsula to the South China Sea to the Indian subcontinent and Indian Ocean.

The initiative’s opening statement, however, was long on flowery language but short on details. “Through this initiative,” it said, “we want to contribute to cooperation, stability, prosperity, development and peace in the region.”

Biden’s stopover in Tokyo came after a visit to Seoul, during which he and the newly inaugurated South Korean president agreed to begin talks on resuming joint real-world military exercises after his summit, which were arbitrarily canceled by Trump to the dismay of US military commanders in Singapore in June 2018 with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

US commanders claim that US and South Korean forces need regular ground, sea and air training. Playing war games on the computer is all well and good, but it is no substitute for deployed troops.

Biden and Yoon both repeatedly stressed the need for a “strategic deterrent,” a term Kishida agrees with. The US, bound by treaty alliances with both Japan and South Korea, has encouraged “trilateral cooperation” but has gotten nowhere to push for a trilateral alliance. Korea remains at odds with Japan on a number of issues, most notably regarding the Japanese’s exploitation of Korean “comfort women” during World War II.

Biden did not mention Trump by name but did not so subtly express his disdain for his predecessor, who said he and Kim “fell in love” with Singapore. When asked in Seoul what he would say to Kim, he replied “Hello”, hesitated for a moment and added “period”. The US would come to Taiwan’s aid if China invaded, Biden finally says


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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