Asia - Pacific

US would intervene militarily if China uses force to take over Taiwan: Biden

Washington ‘considering’ lifting some tariffs on imports from China, US president says

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 23.05.2022
US would intervene militarily if China uses force to take over Taiwan: Biden


US President Joe Biden declared on Monday that Washington would intervene militarily if China uses force to take over Taiwan.

“Our policy towards Taiwan has not changed at all. We remain committed to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait to ensure that there is no unilateral change in the status quo,” Biden said at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.

Biden said Beijing was “already flirting with danger by flying so close (Taiwan) and all the maneuvers they are undertaking,” the US president said.

“But the United States is committed, we made a commitment, we support the one-China policy but that does not mean China has the jurisdiction to use force and takeover Taiwan,” Biden said.

Beijing considers Taiwan, home to over 24 million people, as its “breakaway province” and has not ruled out taking control of the island by force.

Taipei, however, has insisted on its independence since 1949 with independent diplomatic relations with 14 nations.

Putin had to pay ‘long-term price’

About sanctions imposed on Russia after it launched a war on Ukraine, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “to pay a long-term price otherwise it would send the wrong message.”

“What signal does that send to China about the cost of attempting to take Taiwan by force?” he asked.

Responding to a question whether the US will militarily get involved in Taiwan if China uses force to take over the island, Biden replied: “yes.”

“That is the commitment we made,” Biden added.

“We agree with one-China policy… we signed on to it and all the attendant agreements made from there, but the idea that it can be taken by force is just not appropriate,” the US president said.

On whether Washington will lift any tariffs imposed on Chinese products, Biden said his administration did not impose any of the tariffs.

Discussing rising inflation, food shortages and job creation in the US, Biden said his administration is “considering lifting some tariffs on imports from China.”

In 2018, the administration of former US president Donald Trump had imposed tariffs on some Chinese products.

‘US committed to defense of Japan’

Biden said the US was “committed to defense of Japan.”

“The US remains fully committed to Japan’s defense in an increasing challenging security environment,” he said, adding that the two countries will further strengthen their bilateral alliance.

Japan hosts over 50,000 US troops under a bilateral security alliance with the US.

Lauding Japan for its help extended to Ukraine, Biden said: “It demonstrates strength of democracies in action… to defend rules-based order.”

He said that the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) would “ensure economic competitiveness.”

Under its new policy towards Asia, the US uses “Indo-Pacific” to refer to the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Besides the US, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam have joined the IPEF.

The IPEF, according to a joint statement by the 13 countries, "acknowledge that deepening economic engagement among them is crucial for growth, peace and prosperity."

The IPEF will focus on trade, supply chains, clean energy and infrastructure, and tax and anti-corruption.

Biden said that with a focus on growth in digital footprints, it will also help “tackle corruption.”

China’s take on IPEF

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the US' “Indo-Pacific strategy” is essentially a “strategy to create divisions, a strategy to incite confrontation, and a strategy to undermine peace.”

“No matter what packaging it has or what disguise it is under, it is doomed to fail,” Wang said on Sunday.

Kishida, for his part, told the news conference that the US president expressed “support for Japan becoming a permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council.”

He said Japan “will join the IPEF” urging US to return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

About the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, comprising the US, Japan, Australia and India, Biden said: “It is showing to the world cooperation among democracies can get great things done.”

The US president is on his first Asian trip, starting from South Korea last Friday.

Japan will host an in-person Quad summit on Tuesday.

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