US should be clear about Taiwan, says The Australian editorial

26-Oct-2021 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 5:02 AM Print This Post

An editorial run by The Australian newspaper on Sunday (October 24) has called on Washington to clarify its intention to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese assault on the country.

The article comes after US President Joe Biden pledged to defend Taiwan at a town hall meeting in Baltimore last Thursday (October 22). After this, several statements from White House officials appeared to walk back his comments.

The article laments the confusion in the White House over Biden’s statement and reminds the US of the need to be clear in its defense commitments to partners in the region at a time when China’s military aggression is growing.

“Discord and confusion within the White House over Taiwan is unfortunate at a time when China is doubling down on its belligerence towards the democratic island state,” the opening paragraph states.

It goes on to suggest that, contrary to what his critics say, Biden is well aware of the substance of the Taiwan Relations Act. He also knows the implications of his statement on defending Taiwan, seeing that he voted for the Act in 1979.

The editorial refers to other comments made by Biden earlier this year that the US “will respond” on Taiwan as evidence of the president’s continuity on the matter. Richard Haass, president of the US Council on Foreign Relations, is quoted as saying ambiguity is no longer a suitable policy on Taiwan and has advocated strategic clarity instead.

The editorial concludes by recommending Biden keep Haass’ advice in mind when he meets Chinese leader Xi Jinping virtually later on this year.


Category: Taiwan

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