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Taiwan Policy Act 2022: The US becomes less ambiguous about defending Taiwan

Some see the Act as a means to deter China from invading Taiwan

It also ensures that Taiwan would enjoy the status of a “major non-NATO Ally,” a strategic partnership on military and technology exchange and assistance.

The US government terminated its Mutual Defense Treaty with Taiwan in 1980, one year after it established diplomatic ties with the PRC.

Officially, the US recognizes PRC as the sole representative of one China. Yet, it also upholds the principle of peaceful resolution of cross-strait relations.  Hence, for decades, the US government has been ambiguous about whether it would defend Taiwan against China's invasion.

Biden’s latest comment on the popular US television program, 60 Minutes, during an interview with correspondent Scott Pelley showed that the US has become decidedly less ambiguous in its commitment to Taiwan:

Here is a transcript of Biden's comments concerning Taiwan:

Pelley: What should Chinese President Xi [Jinping] know about your commitment to Taiwan?

Biden: We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago. There is one China Policy and Taiwan makes their own judgements about their independence. We are not moving, we are not encouraging their being independent. That’s their decision.

Pelley: But would U.S. forces defend the island?

Biden: Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack.

Pelley: So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir. US forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?

Biden: Yes.

Although the White House clarified after that interview that the US policy towards Taiwan has not changed, the bipartisan Senate’s vote for the Taiwan Policy Act indicated that there is indeed a top-level consensus within the government that the US needs to forge a stronger ally with Taiwan. Lindsey Graham, a conservative US senator who recently visited Taiwan and voted for the new act in the Senate, stressed:

This legislation strengthens the relationship between the United States and Taiwan in terms of economic and military cooperation.

It is vital that we send a signal – not only to Taiwan, but also to China – that America stands firmly with our democratic ally Taiwan.

Well done.

History will also record if the TPA, if adopted and enacted, will constitute a declaration of war by the US against China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and trigger a whole series of events which may completely and profoundly reshape the world…

再次提醒,加強自己家園的安全性,不該被視為挑釁。台美雙方均沒有入侵中國、「反攻大陸」等意願。戰爭發動方,永遠都是中國,挑釁或敵意,也永遠只有中國。 把台灣抵抗侵略者說成台灣在挑釁,這種居心十分險惡,這是要阻止台灣強大的手段。 當你看起來足夠強悍,侵略你的成本越高,敵人就不敢輕易動手。

Please be reminded: strengthening our security should not be viewed as a provocation. Both Taiwan and the US have done nothing to invade China and have no such intention. China is the war initiator who picks fights and instigates hostility. Taiwan is the defender, and those who accused Taiwan of being the instigator have ill intentions. They want to stop Taiwan from gaining strength. The cost of invasion would be lifted when we are strong. This would deter the enemy from making the aggressive move.

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