As military tensions continue to escalate in the Taiwan Strait, US President Joe Biden has assured Taipei that Washington will provide military support to the island in case of Chinese invasion. The latest remarks from Biden came during an interview on the “60 Minutes” program on Sunday. When the host asked him whether the US forces would involve if China try to invade the island nation, he replied positively and said, “yes, if, in fact, there was an unprecedented attack.”
It is to note that in the case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden made it clear that the US forces would not be involved in the war but poured support of military equipment tremendously to back Kyiv. However, when the host asked whether the situation will be different in Taiwan, Biden said, “Yes”.
This was not the first time when Biden vowed to support Taiwan militarily against china’s aggression. Earlier in May, when the reporters asked him the same question, Biden had said, “Yes … That’s the commitment we made.” However, the same was not echoed by the White House official who said the US policy on Taiwan had not changed. According to Taiwan Relations Act 1979, the United States agreed to provide Taiwan with arms to defend itself, and “to maintain the capacity of the United States 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.”
However, the act neither provides clarity nor guarantees the possibility of US military intervention. “We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago. And that there’s a one-China policy, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are not moving — we’re not encouraging their being independent. That’s their decision,” he said.
US-China tensions escalate after Pelosi’s visit
It is worth mentioning the tension between China, Taiwan and the United States rose tremendously ever since US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei despite staunch warnings from Beijing. It sent 27 aircraft to Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (IZ) hours after Pelosi’s plane left Taipei after she spent nearly 18 hours on the island claimed by Beijing as its own. Also, China fired “precision missiles” in waters off Taiwan’s coasts as part of military exercises.
After Pelosi’s visit to the island nation, US Senator Marsha Blackburn also landed in Taipei and met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in the country’s national capital. During the meeting, she affirmed that the Biden administration remains steadfast in preserving freedom around the globe, and added it will not tolerate “efforts to undermine our nation and our allies.”
Earlier last month, the Biden administration also signed an arms deal worth $1.1 billion, including hundreds of missiles for fighter jets and anti-ship systems.