Australia seems to have learned from the U.S. how to leave just enough wiggle room in statements about defense for them not to mean anything.
Peter Dutton, Canberra’s defense minister, said in a recent interview that his country will stand with the U.S. to defend Taiwan if Beijing attacked.
“It would be inconceivable that we wouldn’t support the U.S. in an action if the U.S. chose to take that action,” he told The Australian paper.
Of course, the word “action” can be interpreted to mean a great many things. Does it mean the Royal Australian Navy, Army and Air Force will be deployed… or will Canberra simply provide Taipei with an oxymoron called “intelligence”?
But every time Biden says the U.S. would fight for Taiwan’s sovereignty, the White House press office clarifies that the longstanding position of “strategic ambiguity” has not changed. This means: Taiwan, you are on your own.
Even Paul Keating, the former Australian prime minister, recently said that Taipei is not “a vital Australian interest” and should not lead to a military confrontation.
China has remained firm: there is no room for compromise when it comes to Taipei.
“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions, and no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told the Associated Press.
TREND FORECAST: We have made it clear, the U.S. and its allies will not fight against China, since they know they can’t win. The U.S. has an “all talk, no action” policy toward Taiwan. (See “CHINA WON’T STOP AT TAIWAN, SO WHERE SHOULD AMERICA DRAW THE LINE?”)
Indeed, never-fought-a-day-in-his-life President Joe Biden has been barking that the U.S.—who has not won a war since World War II and couldn’t even celebrate a “Mission Accomplished” in third world Afghanistan and Iraq—will defend Taipei. It won’t happen. (See “U.S. GENERAL DECLARES U.S. “READY” TO DEFEND TAIWAN IF CHINA INVADES” and “BIDEN SAYS (AGAIN) U.S. WILL DEFEND TAIWAN IF CHINA INVADES.”)