Taipei: Beijing's military operations alert the US and its allies

Joe Biden declares that the United States will defend the island in case of a Chinese attack, distancing himself from Washington’s traditional "strategic ambiguity". The EU Parliament asks to negotiate an investments agreement with Taiwan. London: Chinese air raids along the Taiwan Strait could trigger a conflict. Tokyo supports Taipei's joining the CPTPP


 

Taipei (AsiaNews) - "China’s military expansion and provocative actions have alerted the United States and other democratic countries," Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman for the Joanne Ou stated today to CNA. Gestures of support for Taipei by Washington and its allies have multiplied recently, along with their condemnation of repeated air raids by the Chinese air force near the island.

Responding to a question from the audience during a meeting organized by CNN, Joe Biden said yesterday that the United States will defend Taiwan in case of an attack by China.

It is the second time in a few months that the U.S. president has questioned Washington's official line regarding Taipei's status. After a similar statement in August, the White House was quick to point out that the administration's policy on Taiwan had not changed.

With the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States promised to defend Taiwan, primarily with military supplies. Adopted in 1979 after formal diplomatic recognition by Communist China, the measure does not clearly specify whether the United States would respond to Chinese aggression on the island-a "strategic ambiguity" that produces continuing tensions with Beijing.

Beijing considers Taiwan a 'rebel province' and has never ruled out recapturing it by force. The island has been de facto independent from China since 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists found refuge there after losing the civil war on the mainland to the communists, making it the heir to the Republic of China founded in 1912.

In a poll released on Oct. 18, 70 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they supported President Tsai Ing-wen's position that Taiwan and China "should not be subject to each other."

Last October 6, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said that China already has the capability to invade Taiwan and will be able to launch a "large-scale" attack against the island by 2025. Several U.S. Observers shorten that prediction to next year, right after the Beijing Winter Olympics in February or the 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress in the fall.

Europeans are also showing concern about the situation along the Taiwan Strait. Yesterday, the European Union Parliament approved a report calling for closer ties between the EU and Taipei and for negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement. In the same hours, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace warned that Chinese incursions into Taiwan's defensive zone could provoke conflict.

Increasing support for the Taiwanese also comes from Australia and Japan. In first place Tokyo, which has declared itself in favour of the opening of negotiations for Taipei’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the free trade agreement heir to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) wanted by former US President Barack Obama.

 

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