Joe Biden’s closest advisers were “taken by surprise” by the President’s remarks in Japan on Monday that the United States would intervene militarily to defend Taiwan if China tries to take control of the island by force. He also warned Beijing that he is “flirting with danger”.
White House sources told CNN they were taken by surprise and added that the president’s staff must come out urgently to prepare a statement that clarifies the US position.
Biden made the remarks in Tokyo during an official visit to Japan, where he met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday. He had previously visited South Korea.
US officials assess Japan and South Korea as the mainstays of washington’s attack against China’s growing commercial and military power, as well as Western alliance allies to isolate Russia after its aggression against neighboring Ukraine.
In a joint press conference, Biden and Kishida adopted a firm tone towards China and defended their “common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific (region)” and agreed monitor Chinese naval activity in the area where Beijing has growing ambitions.
When asked if the United States would intervene militarily against Beijing in the event of a Chinese attempt to take control of Taiwan by force, Biden replied: “That’s the commitment we made.”
Biden’s remarks took his own advisers by surprise. Photo: Reuters
“We agree with the one China policy and have signed it…but the idea that Taiwan should be taken by force is not appropriate“, he added.
China sees Taiwan as a rogue province that must be brought into the country, by force if necessary.
the chinese answer
Beijing responded on Monday that is ready to defend its national interests in Taiwan.
“No one should underestimate the strong determinationChinese people’s strong will and ability to uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters.
Biden also attacked the Russian governmentwho “must pay a long-term price” for his “barbarity in Ukraine”, alluding to the harsh sanctions imposed by Washington and its allies.
“It’s not just about Ukraine. If the sanctions are not maintained in many respects,what signal would we send to china on the cost of an attempt to take Taiwan by force? He asked.
On Tuesday, Biden will seek to strengthen American leadership in the Asia-Pacific region during a summit with leaders from Australia, India and Japanthe group named “Quad”.
However, India today stands out for its refusal to openly condemn the war in Ukraine, to reduce its trade with Russia. Biden will be interviewed on March alone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Fears have been present throughout Biden’s Asian tour that North Korea will launch a nuclear-capable missile or even a bomb, Something that didn’t happen during his visit to Seoul.
But US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters the threat persisted.
“If North Korea acts, we will be ready to react. If North Korea does not act, it will have the opportunity, as we have said many times, come to tablenegotiations, he said.
Pyongyang has so far refused US calls for dialogue, officials say, ignoring even offers of help to fight against a sudden epidemic of covid-19.
During his intense day, the US President also announced the launch of a new economic framework for the Asia-Pacific region which will initially have 13 member countriesincluding India and Japan, but No Chinese.
“The United States and Japan, along with 11 other countries, will launch the Indo-Pacific economic frameworkBiden said of the mechanism, which will not be a free trade agreement. This framework provides for integration in four key areas: the digital economy, supply chains, green energy and the fight against corruption.
“It is a commitment to work with our friends and close partners in the region, in the face of challenges to ensure economic competitiveness in the 21st century,” added the American president, who said he was considering lifting certain tariff barriers for China.
The United States has little interest in returning to a binding trade deal with Asia after former President Donald Trump will withdraw in 2017 from the Trans-Pacific Alliance.
Biden ended his day with dinner with Kishida and the prime minister’s wife in the garden of an upscale restaurant in Tokyo, where they ate sushi and other traditional Japanese dishes.
Source: AFP and ANSA