US equates its commitment to Taiwan to that towards NATO countries

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Afghanistan in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Aug. 16, 2021. (Photo courtesy: CNP)

(, Aug21’21) – US President Joe Biden has made it clear Aug 19 that Taiwan is not Afghanistan and his country will “respond” to any move by China to invade it. He made the remark in a pushback on criticism from Chinese state-run media that the US debacle and Taliban takeover in Afghanistan should make the island of Taiwan question whether the Washington would protect it or abandon it.

Biden has made the remarks during an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, comparing the US commitment to Taiwan to that made to its NATO allies.

The US Embassy in Kabul had to be abandoned over the weekend, and Hamid Karzai International Airport erupted into chaos as crowds of Afghans attempted to flee when the Taliban marched into Kabul on Aug 15, with thousands of Americans and Afghan allies stuck in the country. The Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamic group, was not expected to overrun the country so swiftly after the US announcement to complete its withdrawal by the end of August.

Biden’s remark came when Stephanopoulos said China was already telling Taiwan, “See? You can’t count on the Americans.”

“Why wouldn’t China say that?” Biden was shown responding. “We have made — kept every commitment. We made a sacred commitment to Article V that if, in fact, anyone were to invade or take action against our NATO allies, we would respond. Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan. It’s not even comparable to talk about that. … It’s not comparable.”

Taiwan is an independent democratic island nation off the coast of China which considers it a renegade province to be reunited eventually. The US has committed to provide defense support to it while not formally recognizing to placate China.

China has been growing more belligerent towards Taiwan especially after it became a democracy in the early 1990’s, but especially after the independence-learning Democratic Progressive Party won elections.

In only its latest move, China on Aug 17 carried out large assault drills off the coast of Taiwan, sending ships and jets off the island’s coast, noted the Washington Examiner Aug 19.

The report quoted White House press secretary Jen Psaki as saying Aug 17, “We stand by, as is outlined in the Taiwan Relations Agreement, by our — by individuals in Taiwan. We stand by partners around the world who are subject to this kind of propaganda that Russia and China are projecting.”

Meanwhile Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has said Aug 18 that her country needed to increase its strength in response to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.


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