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Biden Says Military Force Against China Possible

ADH Staff WriterJune 6, 2024
2024.06.07 biden xi.jpg

U.S. President Joe Biden has made a strong statement regarding the sensitive issue of Taiwan, indicating that he is “not ruling out using U.S. military force” in response to a potential Chinese invasion of the democratic island.

In an interview with Time magazine published on Tuesday, Biden was asked if the United States would defend Taiwan in such a scenario. He noted a distinction between deploying ground troops versus using air and naval power but emphasized that the response would “depend on the circumstances.”

Biden reiterated that he has communicated to Chinese President Xi Jinping the long-standing U.S. policy of not endorsing Taiwanese independence. However, he made it clear that the U.S. would defend Taiwan if China unilaterally attempts to change the status quo.

Biden mentioned that the U.S. has been in consultation with its regional allies about this issue.

The Biden administration has reinforced alliances in Asia, particularly with Japan and the Philippines.

Japan has undergone significant changes in its security policy, and the Philippines has granted the U.S. military access to bases facing Taiwan. These bases, especially those in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, would be crucial in any defense of Taiwan, putting them in the target range of China’s missile arsenal.

Prominent Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, have stated that any emergency over Taiwan would also be a crisis for Japan, given the proximity of its far-flung island of Yonaguni to Taiwan.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has expressed a similar view, noting the geographical proximity of the Philippines to Taiwan and the inevitability of involvement in any conflict.

Fears of a war over Taiwan have grown alongside China’s military power, with some U.S. military officers suggesting Beijing could be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027. This is not the first time Biden has seemingly deviated from the U.S. stance of “strategic ambiguity” regarding Taiwan, having previously broken with precedent on the issue. His latest comments come just days after China’s defense minister criticized the U.S. for causing friction over its support for Taiwan.

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