US will protect Biden if China invades Taiwan

photo = AP

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has said that the United States will defend itself if China’s attack on Taiwan becomes a reality. Unlike the Ukraine War, which remained indirect support, he made it clear that he would send US troops directly. As the conflict between the US and China escalates after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, analysts say the strategy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on the cross-strait issue (China and Taiwan) may have been leave

If Taiwan is attacked, US troops will be sent.

President Biden said in an interview with CBS released on the 18th (local time), “If China launches an unprecedented attack on Taiwan, the United States will defend it.” When the host specifically asked, “Is the US military defending differently than the Ukraine war?” President Biden answered “yes”. In Ukraine’s case, it was limited to arms support, but it means it will send US troops to Taiwan as well.

Successive US governments have maintained strategic ambiguity, not specifically saying whether or not to intervene directly in China’s attack on Taiwan. This policy has been maintained for 43 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China in 1979. At that time, the United States, which had severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan, continues to provide military support to Taiwan, leaving room to intervene in case of emergency. This is why some analysts say that President Biden’s comments mean the end of strategic ambiguity. Fang Yucheng, a professor of political science at Taiwan’s Suzhou University, told German media that “it is a process of adapting from strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity.” “President Biden has made similar comments three times before,” reported the Financial Times.

Another interpretation is that President Biden just said a mistake. President Biden rejected the “one China” policy, which considered Taiwan as part of China, not to be abandoned. “I agree with the promise made a long time ago (by China),” he said. The White House also began to evolve, saying that “US policy toward Taiwan has not changed.”

Threat of blocking public investment

Since Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, relations between the United States and China have been deteriorating. China is conducting military provocations against Taiwan, and the United States is closely related to Taiwan. On the 14th, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Taiwan Policy Act, which treats Taiwan as a non-NATO ally and provides US$6.5 billion (about 9 trillion won) in arms and military training funds for five years, and it has been passed. to the plenary meeting. Although the final process is unclear, it is interpreted as a sign of a stronger anti-Chinese voice in the United States.

Among military experts, voices calling on the United States to end strategic ambiguity are growing. Former Indo-Pacific chief Philip Davidson warned last year of a possible Chinese attack on Taiwan within six years and called for a re-examination of strategic ambiguity. Former national security adviser John Bolton, a leading populist hardliner, also pointed out in June that strategic ambiguity was out of date. But Kurt Campbell, the National Security Council’s Indo-Pacific Coordinator at the White House, opposes the move, saying “there are big downsides to going into strategic clarity.”

President Biden also revealed that he had warned that investment would be cut off if China backed Russia from behind. “If you think that the United States and other countries will continue to invest in China even if you break the sanctions imposed on Russia, you are making a huge mistake,” Biden said in interview with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The timing was not specified, but Bloomberg said it was referring to the conversation with President Xi in March.

But President Biden said there was no indication that China had provided any weapons, etc., that Russia wanted so far. With the conflict between the United States and China continuing, attention is being paid to see if President Biden and President Xi will meet for the first time at the G20 summit to be held in Indonesia in November.

Correspondent Semin Heo semin@hankyung.com

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