Biden says US engaged in military action to defend Taiwan

Mr Biden called the US-Japan relationship a “cornerstone” of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. Mr Kishida also confirmed Japan’s intentions to double its defense budget and said he wanted to deepen the security alliance with the United States.

Although Mr Biden says the US position on Taiwan has not changed, he used his first visit to Asia to intensify the rhetoric against China amid growing fears that a Ukraine-style conflict could break out in the region,

“We support the one-China policy. . . . but that does not mean that China has the jurisdiction to come in and use force to take control of Taiwan. So we stand firmly with Japan and other nations to ensure that this does not happen. I expect that will not happen,” he said.

“A lot depends on how strongly the world makes it clear that this kind of action will lead to long-term disapproval from the rest of the community,” he added, referring to global sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. .

Mr. Kishida also used the meeting to harden his public stance on China. “We must strengthen this alliance to defend peace and stability in the region,” he said.

Mr Kishida is considering a proposal for Japan to acquire counterattack capabilities that would give it the ability to strike enemy bases for the first time since World War II.

The one-China policy Mr. Biden referred to is an acknowledgment by the United States, Australia and other countries that the People’s Republic of China is the only formal government in Taiwan. But at the same time, he does not approve of the ruling Communist Party’s territorial claims to Taiwan, which has its own elected government.

Mr Biden made similar remarks about defending Taiwan in October, but it was played down by officials at the time. They stressed that there had been no change in Washington’s position.

Mr. Biden also used his visit to Japan to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), an economic bloc that is expected to include Australia and will set rules for the digital economy, decarbonization, strengthening supply chains. procurement and cooperation in other areas such as taxation and corruption. Taiwan would not be included.

The economic engagement plan will not include tariff cuts and is seen as a weaker alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Donald Trump withdrew from in 2017 and which the United States does not wish to join.

Mr Kishida said on Monday that it would be “desirable” for the United States to return to the TPP. “I communicated our hopes as such directly to the president,” he said.

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