Axios: Is Biden Confused Or Signalling With Statements On Taiwan Defense?

Biden has now asserted twice that the United States will stand with Taiwan and defend it against the Chinese invasion instead of the current US policy. Axios reported that Biden’s decision might end up creating some severe consequences. 

Defense officials have declared that China has planned advances on Taiwan and plans to completely take over the country in four to six years by force. While declaring his intentions to stand with Taiwan, Biden also revealed that Taiwan holds a vital strategic position for the United States. Therefore he can’t afford to have the country forcefully taken over by China. But the United States has an existing policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan. The policy doesn’t say whether or not force will be used to defend Taiwan from Chinese invasion, but it reserves the right to use force. It is dedicated to helping Taiwan defend itself and selling American weapons if need be. 

Ever since Biden took office, he has made two statements, seemingly accidental, that suggested a change in policy regarding Taiwan. First was during an interview with ABC News in which while rejecting the notion of Afghanistan withdrawal raising questions about the USA’s commitment to its allies, he stated that a sacred commitment to Article 5 had been made by which if anyone makes any attempts to make advances towards its NATO allies, America would respond. It includes Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Another was at a CNN town hall when asked if the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if China attacked, and Biden answered with ‘Yes.’ 

While the White House has tried to deflect the statements both times by saying that there won’t be a policy change, we can’t help but wonder if Biden is sure about what he said or if he is just confused.