US clarifies policy on Taiwan — Analysis

The secretary of state maintained that Taiwan is not recognized by the United States despite Biden’s threats to military intervention

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken declared on Thursday that the US’ policy of strategic ambiguity toward Taiwan remains intact, despite President Joe Biden having promised to involve the US military in the event of a Chinese invasion. Blinken is the second senior Biden administration official to correct the president’s statement.

Biden angered Beijing on Monday by declaring that despite abiding by the ‘One China Policy’, the US would involve its military in any potential conflict between China and Taiwan. Although the White House swiftly clarified that Biden’s words did not represent a change to the US’ long-standing recognition of China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said that the US leader’s words put him at “opposition to the 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

“On Taiwan, our approach has been consistent across decades and administrations,”Blinken said this to reporters Thursday. “As the president has said, our policy has not changed. We do not support Taiwan independence, and we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means.”

Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the US recognizes, but does not endorse, China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. While the act codifies the US’ ‘One China Policy,’ it also authorizes informal diplomatic relations with the government of Taiwan, and allows Washington to provide Taipei with enough military support “to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capabilities.”

This act doesn’t guarantee that the United States will not intervene militarily if China threatens to assimilate Taiwan. Instead it considers any attempt to change Taiwan’s status a threat “of grave concern to the United States,”Language intended to discourage China from using force and dissuade Taiwan declaring its independence.

Was Biden’s Taiwan defense comment a gaffe, an attempt to look strong, or the quiet part said out loud?

Blinken made the statement two days after Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary, issued a similarly worded clarification on Biden’s promise to provide military support for Taiwan. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Austin said that “our One China Policy has not changed.”

On Thursday, however Blinken stated that “while our policy has not changed, what has changed is Beijing’s growing coercion.”China, he accused. “provocative rhetoric and activity”Taiwanese, in reference to alleged Chinese aircraft flying into Taiwanese Airspace. Taipei’s authorities had earlier accused the Chinese military, which included two nuclear-capable aircraft bombers, of flying 18 Chinese-capable planes into its air-defense area.

Blinken mentioned these acts. “are deeply destabilizing. They risk miscalculation and threaten the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”

Biden has however been accused of using his words to threaten peace and stability. He announced in March that Russian President Vladimir Putin was his choice “cannot remain in power,”A statement by the White House claiming that it attempted to reverse its position as an a “reflection of his emotional connection”Ukraine. However, one the Kremlin understood as “alarming.” Republican Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) reacted by declaring Biden’s “cognitive decline”A “national security risk.”



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