Chinese President Xi Jinping’s dream of unifying the breakaway Republic of Taiwan with the mainland could turn into a nightmare, with President Joe Biden saying US troops would defend Taipei in the event of an ‘unprecedented attack’ by the People’s Army release (APL). Despite clarifications from the White House after Biden’s statement, this is the fourth time the US president and chief executive has openly stated that America will stand up for Taiwan. The White House, as in the past, added that there was no change in US policy towards Taiwan after the declaration.
In his most explicit statement, President Joe Biden in an interview with CBS 60 mins, broadcast on Sunday, said “yes” to the American forces defending the island republic in the event of an unprecedented attack by the Chinese army.
Despite turmoil with the US State Department over his statement, President Joe Biden’s emphatic words bring much-needed relief to Taiwan, Japan and some Southeast Asian countries that are falling victim to diplomacy from the wolf warriors of Beijing and the military belligerence of the PLA in the Indo-Pacific. The PLA has also been embroiled in a 28-month military standoff with the Indian army in the eastern sector of Ladakh after Beijing decided to unilaterally change the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector. east of Ladakh, reinforcing its military positions along the 3488 km line.
President Biden’s statement makes it clear that America is as focused on China in the context of Taiwan as it is on Russia in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine. But the fundamental difference is that while in Ukraine the United States supplies billions of dollars of arms to kyiv to defend itself against the invasion of the Red Army, the American president in the case of Taiwan is ready to send American troops into the field to defend against the PLA. This means that the American military presence in the Indo-Pacific will increase to deter any Chinese aggression against Taiwan or Japan.
President Biden’s unequivocal statement will strengthen the QUAD group, as all four partners face military, diplomatic or commercial friction with China. Given Japan’s proximity to Taiwan, any military emergency in Taipei will draw Tokyo into the conflict and this was reflected in the landing of Chinese missiles in Japan’s EEZ after Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island republic.
Continued pressure from President Biden will also prevent China from opening up fronts with other democratic countries and deter new Beijing supporters in the Indian subcontinent and within Asean.