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Has Biden answered a little too clearly about Taiwan? – NRK Urix – Foreign Documentary News

Are you willing to intervene militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?

Yes, Joe Biden answered.

Really ask the reporter?

Biden repeats, yes, that’s what we stick to.

These words came at a press conference in Japan this week. This is not the first time that the US president has attracted attention with a statement on Taiwan.

It has been just over six months since Biden last said that the United States would enter and defend Taiwan militarily if China attempted to seize the island by force of arms.

Biden’s answer raises three questions:

  1. Is the President of the United States loose?
  2. Does Biden only say what he feels is right?
  3. Is he experiencing a potential shift in US politics?

The US position on the Taiwan issue has been dubbed “strategic ambiguity”. They want to be a safe supplier of weapons to Taiwan, but they have left it in the air if the United States deployed its military forces if China attacked the island.

A message in two parts

The United States has two goals with its ambiguity:

The first is to not let Chinese military leaders know what kind of resistance they can expect if they try to seize Taiwan by force. The second is to send a message to Taiwan: The island cannot expect US assistance if it declares independence on its own.

So it is not enough for a clear majority in Taiwan to want to bid farewell to China once and for all.

The United States officially supports that there is only one China, therefore Such as Norway, the European Union and most countries of the world Taiwan is part of China. However, they are clear that reunification between China and Taiwan will take place peacefully and without coercion.

China also says its goal is peaceful reunification. Until the end of the 2000s, the Kuomintang, the Chinese nationalist party, ruled Taiwan. When they lost the civil war in China in 1949, they fled to Taiwan.

Officially, the island is called the Republic of China (Taiwan). Those who govern Taiwan now enjoy independence as a pillar of their party platform, but President Tsai has not made the party platform a government programme.

Read more about the past 50 years across the Taiwan Strait:

Is Taiwan the next destination for China?

Officially, the Taiwan government still believes the island is part of China. This is called the status quo. The stability of both sides warns each other not to be upset.


PINS: Taiwanese pins for sale at Yes to Independence bookstore in Taipei, Taiwan.

Photo: ANN WANG/Reuters

China in the era of something new

The reason Biden is now sowing more and more “strategic ambiguity” is the authoritarian development of China under President Xi Jinping.

China is building up its militarism in the Pacific and more power is concentrated in Xi himself. Politically, China is not where the United States sees itself as benefiting from reunification.

The experience from Hong Kong is that Taiwan’s democracy will live in poor conditions. If China gained control of the island, the Chinese army would also gain a stronger and more advanced position towards the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, Biden may want to shift the ambiguity a little in favor of Taiwan.

“NATO and Asia”

Biden described US relations with China as the most important thing in the world today. this does not mean The press conference also shows that Biden believes he should tread carefully.

China reacted with expected anger and announced two days later that it had conducted military exercises near Taiwan. The day before, they had conducted military exercises with fighter jets with Russia near Japan.


Coastal art: Taiwan gets most of its weapons and a lot of its training from the United States. The United States and China have increased their military activity in the Taiwan Strait.

Photo: TYRONE SIU / Reuters

When Biden met the prime ministers of India, Japan and Australia in Tokyo the day after the press conference, the president said the global balance of power would be decided in the Asia-Pacific region.

This was the second meeting of the so-called Quartet, or «Firebanden» They were also named. For its part, China describes this new loose alliance as “NATO in Asia and the Pacific.” There is still a long way to go before a NATO-like defense agreement is concluded in Asia, but China makes no mistake when it says the Quartet is part of the United States’ attempt to stem China’s growing influence and military might.

This is about democracies against authoritarian regimes.Biden said. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida said that what happened in Ukraine should never happen in the Pacific region. They didn’t take the word Taiwan in their mouths.

While China has repeatedly emphasized that the Taiwan issue cannot be compared to Ukraine, the feeling is very different among many Taiwanese.

The final document after the Quartet meeting is not mentioned in China, but Beijing has no doubt that this meeting was about them.


Category 4: New Australian Prime Minister Albanese, US President Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida and India’s Prime Minister Modi wave to the camera in Tokyo.


China asserts that it has only peaceful intentions. Beijing often repeats that the United States is only trying to maintain its hegemony by keeping China in a downturn.

Both China and the United States can agree on an improvement in trust between them.

Taiwan is just one of the many islands

Taiwan is the largest of several small islands in the Pacific region that could tip the balance of power in Asia upside down.

The land mass of the Solomon Islands is no larger than the Hedmark, but the small sea area of ​​the poor island nation is large. In March, the Solomon Islands signed a cooperation and security agreement with China.


Visit: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will receive Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavari in Beijing in October 2019.

Photo: Mark Schiefelbein / AP

The United States and Australia fear that, in the future, China may build bases on islands fairly close to both Hawaii and the east coast of Australia.

The current agreement will already allow the Chinese Navy to dock at the ports of the Solomon Islands.

Many islands may also think they have more to gain from Asia’s new superpower. Newly elected East Timor president, Nobel Peace Prize laureate José Ramos-Horta pledged closer ties with China.

At a meeting in Fiji next week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will propose comprehensive data communication, police and security cooperation with more than 10 different Pacific island countries. A document obtained by Reuters shows.

TheThe oath to the island nation of Micronesia rejects the proposal, but it may be little consolation for the Western allies.