Sunday, October 2, 2022

Biden vows to defend Taiwan from Chinese invasion, Beijing fires back

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US President Joe Biden has unequivocally said that American troops would defend Taiwan in the eventuality of a Chinese invasion, prompting a sharp reaction from Beijing.

US President Joe Biden said American troops would defend Taiwan if China decides to invade (Reuters photo)

As an increasingly aggressive China flexes its military muscles, US President Joe Biden once again came on record to state that American troops would defend Taiwan in case of a Chinese invasion.

Asked in a CBS interview if US forces would defend the democratically governed island if the People’s Liberation Army mounts an “unprecedented attack”, Biden replied with an unequivocal “yes”.

Biden was doubling down on his assertion made in Japan earlier this year, when he said the US would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan.

The US president’s remarks were the latest sign of a shift away from a policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan, contrary to the White House’s stance that there has been no policy change with regards to the self-ruled island.

Taiwan welcomed Biden’s emphatic words, which it said reflected the US government’s “rock-solid security commitment to Taiwan”. Taipei said it would continue to deepen its “close security partnership” with Washington.

On the other hand, a furious Beijing denounced US president’s remarks on Taiwan, saying they “severely violate” long-standing US policy over the self-ruled island.

In the CBS interview, Biden reiterated the United States remained committed to a “One-China” policy in which Washington officially recognises Beijing not Taipei, and said America was not encouraging Taiwanese independence.

“We are not moving, we are not encouraging their being independent … that’s their decision,” he said.

China has been increasingly hostile following US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August.

The top US official’s trip to Taiwan prompted China to conduct its largest-ever military exercises around the island. Beijing has also protested moves by US lawmakers to advanced legislation that would enhance US military support for Taiwan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to bring Taiwan under Beijing’s control and has not ruled out the use of force. Taiwan strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims.

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Quearn – Do QnA

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