President Joe Biden, while speaking in Tokyo on Monday during his first trip to the region as president, said that the U.S. would come to Taiwan’s defenses if China attempts to take the island by force.
Biden was asked by a reporter if the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if Beijing decides to invade, and the president responded, “Yes, that’s true. That’s the commitment that we’ve made.”
But the devil is in the details.
The White House told Fox News that the administration’s policy “has not changed.”
“As the president said, our policy has not changed,” the White House mouthpiece told the network. “He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.”
Wang Wenbin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told reporters that China has “no room for compromise or concessions on issues involving China’s core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Biden was on stage with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has also been more assertive about China in light of the Russian invasion. (See “JAPAN: WILL CHINA ATTACK TAIWAN LIKE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE?”)
Kishida told reporters that Tokyo will “dramatically strengthen” its military.
The U.S. president went on to say that he does not believe a Taiwan invasion will occur.
“My expectation is that it will not happen, it will not be attempted,” he said.
The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the tensions over Taiwan, which have only been magnified since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (See “CHINA WON’T STOP AT TAIWAN, SO WHERE SHOULD AMERICA DRAW THE LINE?” “WILL CHINA INVADE TAIWAN?” “TAIWAN VS. CHINA: UKRAINE WAR SETS THE STAGE.”)
History Repeats Itself
Last October, Biden made headlines during a CNN town hall when he told an audience member that the U.S. would defend Taiwan if China invaded. Anderson Cooper, the moderator, had the president clarify that the U.S. would defend Taiwan, and the president confirmed his position again.
“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” he said.
There are times that Biden appears out of lockstep with his own administration and the White House was forced to clarify those remarks, saying that there was no change in policy and insisting that the U.S. remains guided by the Taiwan Relations Act for 1979.
The act states that Washington is committed to providing Taipei with arms for its defense. It is under the act that the U.S. described its relationship as that of “strategic ambiguity.”
TREND FORECAST: Despite condemnations when they do so, there will be no military forces from other nations that will challenge Communist China’s military might. Indeed, America, with the largest military in the world, has not won a war since World War II and cannot even win against third-world nations such as Afghanistan after invading that nation some 20 years ago.
Should war break out between China and Taiwan, we forecast the Taiwanese military will not aggressively fight back, since doing so would result in millions of deaths and mass destruction.
We have pointed to numerous articles that explain Taiwan is simply no match for the much larger and more deadly Chinese military. China spends 25 times the amount Taipei does on its defenses. China also has a hundred times as many ground-force troops as the island.
The response from the White House after Biden’s comments shows that Taiwan is on its own if Beijing sends an armada of warships to the island.
Taiwanese troops and citizens who resist China will be praised by Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken as heroes, and the U.S. will send equipment and issue a statement warning that “Japan is the red line,” but Taiwan should not misread Biden’s non-comment.