Looking to head off a crisis in Asia akin to the war in Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden on May 23 used his first in-person summit with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to address Beijing’s “increasingly assertive behavior,” with the American leader appearing to break with decades of policy by vowing to defend Taiwan if it were to be invaded.
Biden said China was “already flirting with danger” by repeatedly conducting military exercises in the vicinity of democratic Taiwan, part of actions that some observers fear could be a precursor to invasion.
Asked whether the United States would be willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, Biden — who has in the past made gaffes on the subject — delivered a curt response during a post-summit news conference.
“Yes,” he said. “That’s a commitment we made.”
“We agree with the ‘One China’ policy. We signed on to it and all the attendant agreements made from there,” he added.
“But the idea that it can be taken by force, it’s just not appropriate. It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.”
Still, Biden tempered his remarks by signaling that he expects an invasion “will not happen.” (The Japan Times)