Biden: US will intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan

President Joe Biden has also announced that 13 countries joined a new US-led Asia-Pacific trade initiative touted as a counterweight to China’s expansion in the region.

President Joe Biden has said the US will intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan, in one of the most forceful and overt statements in support of Taiwan in decades.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, Biden said the burden to protect the self-ruled island was “even stronger” after Russia’s offensive against Ukraine.

He said an effort by China to use force against Taiwan would “just not be appropriate”, adding that it “will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine”.

Under the “One China” policy, the US recognises Beijing as the government of China and doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

However, it maintains unofficial contacts with Taiwan, including a de facto embassy in Taipei, the capital. The US also supplies military equipment for the island’s defence.

“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 take over Taiwan,” Biden said.

He also sharpened his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s “important that Putin pay a price for his barbarism in Ukraine”, Biden said. “Russia has to pay a long-term price.”

In a swift response, Beijing said it was ready to defend its national interests over Taiwan. “No one should underestimate the firm resolve, staunch will and strong ability of the Chinese people in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

Asia-Pacific trade framework

Biden also announced that 13 countries had joined a new US-led Asia-Pacific trade initiative touted as a counterweight to China’s aggressive expansion in the region.

“The United States and Japan, together with 11 other nations, will be launching” the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF, Biden said alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

“This framework is a commitment to working with our close friends and partners in the region on challenges that matter most to ensuring economic competitiveness in the 21st century,” he said.

Biden did not say what countries had already signed up to IPEF, which the White House is billing as a framework for what will ultimately become a tight-knit group of trading nations.

Unlike traditional trade blocs, there is no plan for IPEF members to negotiate tariffs and ease market access — a tool that has become increasingly unpalatable to US voters fearful of undermining homegrown manufacturing.

Instead, the programme foresees integrating partners through agreed standards in four main areas: the digital economy, supply chains, clean energy infrastructure and anti-corruption measures.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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