Biden on Taiwan
Many did not notice it, but President Joe Biden provoked China in a major way recently. This is serious, as we do not want to confuse people.
From The Federalist. During his first trip to Asia as the U.S. president, Joe Biden said the U.S. military would defend Taiwan if China invaded the island. His comment became headline news worldwide as many interpreted it as a significant U.S. foreign policy change.
Yet, as so often, White House officials immediately clarified the president’s comment and insisted that there was no U.S. policy change regarding Taiwan. This is the third time White House staff have backpedaled after President Biden’s comments on Taiwan….
Such contradictions have raised questions, including who is in charge of U.S. policy on Taiwan and what that policy is. The lack of clarity on these questions is precarious, and not just for the future of Taiwan.
Historically, the U.S. government has followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” created by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. That doesn’t guarantee the U.S. defense of Taiwan in the event of Communist China’s invasion, but it doesn’t rule out U.S. involvement in defending Taiwan either.
China’s Clear Views on Taiwan
In contrast to Washington’s ambiguity, Communist China has always been crystal clear about its intention toward Taiwan. Beijing insists there is one China led by the Communist Party and that Taiwan is a province of China. Beijing has vowed that it will never allow Taiwan to become independent. China’s current leader Xi Jinping sees the “reunification” with Taiwan as a legacy that he will make happen by any means necessary, including the use of force.
Under Xi’s leadership, Communist China has made astonishing progress in military preparations for a possible invasion of Taiwan. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has built the world’s largest navy, measured by fleet size….
Calls to Abandon ‘Strategic Ambiguity’
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, many observers believed China’s Xi might be motivated to attack Taiwan while the Russian military was keeping the West occupied. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, warned that “an invasion of Taiwan could happen within this decade.” He introduced a bill recently to “increase coordination between the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries to ensure Taiwan is equipped to defend against an attack and invasion by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).”
The calls for the United States to abandon “strategic ambiguity” and offer Taiwan an explicit security guarantee have grown louder….
Biden Administration Creating Confusion
Yet the Biden administration so far has created more confusion domestically and internationally rather than presenting any strategic clarity. Since day one, the Biden administration has stated it would continue the “strategic ambiguity” policy toward Taiwan. But President Biden publicly declared several times that the U.S. military would help defend Taiwan in a Chinese invasion. Each time, senior administration officials immediately walked back Biden’s comments as if he never meant what he said.
There are three possible explanations. It could be that Biden’s comments were indeed blunders, and there is no change of U.S. policy on Taiwan. It could also be that he did mean what he said, but his staff simply undermined his authority publicly to avoid antagonizing China.
The third explanation is that the Biden administration has yet to formulate a clear China policy. It probably feels a bipartisan pressure to defend Taiwan but is war-weary and doesn’t want to actually go to war with China….
How are you praying over the situation with China, Taiwan, and the U.S.? Share your thoughts and prayers below!
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