Biden: US would intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan | Government and politics

By JOSH BOAK and AAMER MADHANI – Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday that the United States would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, in one of the strongest and most overt statements in favor of Taiwan in decades.

Biden said the charge to protect the self-governing island was “even stronger” after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Biden said, “That’s the commitment we made.” He said an effort by China to use force against Taiwan would “simply not be appropriate”, saying it would “disrupt the whole region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine”.

Under the “One China” policy, the United States recognizes Beijing as the government of China and does not maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, it maintains unofficial contacts with Taiwan, including a de facto embassy in Taipei, the capital. The United States also provides military equipment for the defense of the island.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

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TOKYO (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday promised “tangible benefits” to people in the Indo-Pacific region from a new trade pact he was about to launch, designed to signal the commitment of the United States. United in the contested economic sphere and addressing the need for trade stability after the disruptions caused by the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

When meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden said the new Indo-Pacific economic framework will also strengthen US cooperation with other countries in the region.

The White House said the framework will help the economies of the United States and Asia work more closely on issues such as supply chains, digital trade, clean energy, worker protections and efforts of fighting corruption. Details have yet to be negotiated among member countries, making it difficult for the administration to say how this deal would fulfill the promise of helping American workers and businesses while addressing global needs.

Countries signing on to the framework were to be announced Monday when Biden visited Tokyo for talks with Kishida. It’s the latest step for the Biden administration to try to preserve and expand American influence in a region that until recently seemed to be under increasing Chinese sway.

Kishida hosted an official state welcome for Biden at the Akasaka Palace, including a white-clad military honor guard and a group in the front plaza. Reviewing the assembled troops, Biden placed his hand over his heart as he passed the American flag and bowed slightly as he passed the Japanese ensign.

Kishida, in brief remarks, said he was “absolutely delighted” to welcome Biden to Tokyo on the first trip to Asia of his presidency. Along with Biden, he has taken a hard line against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, saying it “undermines the foundations of the world order”.

Biden, who is in the midst of a five-day visit to South Korea and Japan, called the U.S.-Japan alliance a “cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific” and thanked Japan for its “strong leadership” in rising. in Russia.

The White House announced plans to build the economic framework in October as a replacement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the United States abandoned in 2017 under then-President Donald Trump.

The new pact comes at a time when the administration believes it has the edge in its competition with Beijing. Bloomberg Economics released a report last week forecasting US GDP growth of around 2.8% in 2022, compared to 2% for China, which has tried to contain the coronavirus with strict containment measures while dealing with a real estate crisis. The slowdown undermined assumptions that China would automatically supplant the United States as the world’s largest economy.

“The fact that the United States is growing faster than China this year, for the first time since 1976, is a pretty stark example of how countries in this region should look at trends and trajectories.” , said the national security of the White House. adviser Jake Sullivan.

Critics say the framework has gaping flaws. It does not offer incentives to potential partners by lowering tariffs or giving signatories better access to US markets. These limitations may not make the US framework an attractive alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which grew further after the US bailout. China, the biggest trading partner for many in the region, is also looking to join the TPP.

“I think a lot of partners will look at this list and say, ‘That’s a good list of issues. I’m happy to be involved,” said Matthew Goodman, former director of international economics at the National Security Council during the administration of President Barack Obama. participate in this framework?

Countries may be part of both trade agreements.

Biden’s first stop on Monday was a private meeting with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito at Naruhito’s residence on the lush grounds of the Imperial Palace ahead of talks with Kishida.

The two leaders were also due to meet families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea decades ago. Japan’s prime minister took office last fall and is seeking to strengthen ties with the United States and establish a personal relationship with Biden. He will welcome the president to a restaurant for dinner.

The launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, also known as the IPEF, was touted by the White House as one of the highlights of Biden’s trip to Asia and his ongoing efforts to strengthen ties with the Pacific allies. Through it all, administration officials have kept a close eye on China’s growing economic and military power in the region.

In September, the United States announced a new partnership with Australia and Britain called AUKUS that aims to deepen security, diplomacy and defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Through this AUKUS partnership, Australia will purchase nuclear-powered submarines and the United States will increase rotational force deployments to Australia.

The US president has also paid close attention to the informal alliance known as the Quad, formed during the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed some 230,000 people. Biden and his fellow leaders of the alliance, which also includes Australia, India and Japan, are set to gather in Tokyo for their second in-person meeting in less than a year. Leaders have also held two video calls since Biden took office.

And earlier this month, Biden brought representatives from nine of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Washington for a summit, the organization’s first ever in the U.S. capital. Biden announced at the summit that the United States would invest some $150 million in clean energy and infrastructure initiatives in ASEAN countries.

Sullivan confirmed on Sunday that Taiwan – which had applied for membership in the IPEF framework – is not among the governments that will be included. The participation of the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, would have angered Beijing.

Sullivan said the United States wants to deepen its economic partnership with Taiwan, especially on high-tech issues and the supply of semiconductors on a one-to-one basis.

Biden will wrap up his five days in Asia on Tuesday with the Quad meeting and one-on-one talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The centre-left leader of the Australian Labor Party this weekend defeated incumbent President Scott Morrison and ended nine years of Conservative rule.

Modi, leader of the world’s largest democracy, refused to join the United States and other allies in imposing sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. In a video call last month, Biden asked Modi not to speed up his purchase of Russian oil.

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

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