Biden’s Latest Gaffe Claims US Will Fight China to Defend Taiwan – But That’s Not US Policy

White House / Public Domain

ANALYSIS – President Joe Biden’s mouth strikes again, this time claiming the U.S. would get involved militarily to defend Taiwan against a Communist Chinese invasion.  This initially appeared to shatter the long-standing U.S. policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ which does not clearly lay out what a U.S. response to Chinese aggression against Taiwan would entail.

Despite adhering to the so-called ‘One China Policy’ which accepts Communist China as the only China, the U.S. has armed Taiwan for years through the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

The Act however, does not guarantee the U.S. will intervene militarily on Taiwan’s behalf, though some argue it should.

This latest Biden gaffe comes after numerous other reckless gaffes Biden made regarding Russia and Ukraine, one which appeared to promote regime change in Russia and Vladimir Putin’s overthrow.

Biden made this one at a news conference in Tokyo alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kushida responding to a reporter asking, “Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?

“Yes,” Biden replied. “That’s the commitment we made.”

NBC reported that shortly after the press conference, a White House spokesperson walked back Biden’s remarks about Taiwan, a recurring pattern for Biden.

However, some argue that Biden’s gaffe should be the U.S. policy.

According to American Military News (AMN) Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) criticized the conflicting statements about Taiwan coming from the Biden administration.

“I’ve long said that we should change our Taiwan policy from ‘strategic ambiguity’ to ‘strategic clarity’: the United States will come to the defense of Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack,” Cotton said in an emailed statement. “As usual, strategic clarity and military strength is the best way to deter China. Given President Biden’s apparent policy shift in off-the-cuff remarks at a press conference in Japan, followed by anonymous White House aides trying to ‘walk back’ his statement, it’s now essential that President Biden restate our new policy of strategic clarity in clear, deliberate remarks from a prepared text. Otherwise, the continued ambiguity and uncertainty will likely provoke the Chinese communists without deterring them—the worst of both worlds.”

I have previously argued the same thing. The best way to deter Chinese aggression against Taiwan is to make it clear that the U.S. is fully committed to Taiwan’s defense. But not the U.S. alone, in conjunction with its allies in the region, and Europe as well. Maybe it’s time to turn this Biden gaffe into policy. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - paulcrespo.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

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