Did Joe Biden go off script by mistake or do so thoughtfully on purpose?
In a press conference at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, Joe Biden said the United States would intervene to defend Taiwan if China invaded. It was a statement that perhaps signaled a break in 50 years of American strategic ambiguity about Taiwan.
Given that an American president’s statements are supposed to correspond with a deliberate strategy, it is hard to believe that Biden did not think carefully about his remarks.
Nevertheless, soon afterward, White House officials, part of a clarification brigade, told reporters covering the president that Biden meant something other than what they heard.
White House advisers reiterated that the official U.S. position remains one of recognizing only “one China,” that of Beijing, in line with the “One-China Policy.”
As much as the White House tried to tone down the harshness of Biden’s statement — and if they did, it was with the president’s agreement — it appears that Biden sought to warn China about what it would do if Beijing’s forces invaded Taiwan.
While the possibility of a direct conflict between the United States and Russia over Ukraine has not yet been ruled out, is there also a threat of a war between the United States and China?
It is an emerging issue on the global geopolitical scene.
Is it possible that China will invade Taiwan? The question remains in the realm of disquieting uncertainty.
There is no doubt that Beijing wants to take control of this island that holds high strategic value and that China considers it part of the People’s Republic of China.
The issue becomes more complex when you consider that Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared that the Taiwan issue must be resolved by the current generation. In other words, his generation. Therefore, in the near future.
Taiwan adamantly refuses to reunify with China.
So, what can we expect?
Is Biden’s remark, one that was quickly qualified by his aides, part of an already open communication war?
Is it a warning to Xi not to do to Taiwan what Putin is doing to Ukraine? It is clear that, in the case of Chinese aggression against Taiwan, America will intervene directly, unlike its indirect approach to Ukraine. If Biden challenges Xi, will Xi answer?
There are several factors to consider on both sides.
China faces an economic crisis in the wake of difficulties posed by management of the COVID-19 pandemic, all while Xi seeks a third term at the Chinese Communist Party Congress, set for October.
Biden is facing midterm elections in November in which Democrats are in danger of losing control of Congress.
While the antagonism between the West and Russia was expected to lower tensions between the U.S. and China, the opposite has happened.
Are we gradually entering a new cold war, where total war is the real menace? The world is becoming a dangerous and unsettling place.