China’s communist regime continues to escalate its tests of President Joe Biden’s commitment to defend Taiwan. During the past week alone, a Chinese aircraft carrier group conducted drills in waters off Taiwan and 15 Chinese warplanes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the fifth day of incursions by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Taiwan’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA), that the country would fight “to the very last day,” if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was to invade. Other Taiwanese sources threatened to shoot down Chinese military drones in its airspace around the Taiwan-owned Pratas Islands in the South China Sea. This could trigger an explosive escalation.
In response to the Chinese threats, the U.S. State Department spokesperson stated:
Our commitment to Taiwan is rock solid,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a news briefing on Wednesday.
We think and we know that it contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability in and across the Taiwan Strait and within the region as well,” he said.
“We have, of course, taken note with great concern the pattern of ongoing efforts [by China] and attempts to intimidate in the region including in the context of Taiwan,” Price said, citing the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act that requires the U.S. to “resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security or the social or economic system of the people on Taiwan.”
While some called this a vow to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, others aren’t so certain this is a sufficiently strong, or high-level, public commitment by Team Biden. Especially as the real threat of invasion has grown exponentially in recent years.
In 2018, the Pentagon’s annual report on Chinese military capabilities warned that the PLA is gradually preparing for a possible invasion of Taiwan, as the CCP “continued to develop and deploy increasingly advanced military capabilities intended to coerce Taiwan, signal Chinese resolve, and gradually improve capabilities for an invasion.”
More recently, Admiral Philip Davidson, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Beijing could launch an invasion within the next six years.
The Trump administration took the strongest stance toward China regarding Taiwan of any U.S. president in four decades, sending high level delegations, and supplying advanced weapons, jet fighters, and even offensive missiles for the first time in 40 years. China now wants to see if Biden will follow suit and stay strong – or change course and soften up. ADN