Biden Forgets ‘Words Matter’ On Taiwan

Biden Forgets ‘Words Matter’ On Taiwan

Markets looked poised to stabilize Monday, amid a lack of new downside catalysts. There's plenty to fret over, and this week's tape could be littered with landmines, but the new week dawned without a fresh crisis. Unless you count a provocative series of remarks by Joe Biden who, during a press event with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, asked, "If these sanctions [on Russia] are not sustained... then what signal does that send to China about the cost of attempting to take Taiwa
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8 thoughts on “Biden Forgets ‘Words Matter’ On Taiwan

  1. It’s amazing how long ago that was–it definitely doesn’t feel that long. That WaPo op-ed just turned old enough to legally buy a drink.

  2. Of course, China would surely claim Ukraine and Taiwan is a false equivalence. But note that Putin essentially denies Ukraine’s statehood. So, is it really a false equivalence?

    It’s not a false equivalence at all. The parallels draw themselves.

  3. Either Biden is consciously sending a message, or he is unconsciously sending a message. US policy toward China-Taiwan is changing, and in Biden’s mind the change is likely well advanced. In 1979, the impact on the US of China invading Taiwan would have been limited; today they would be disastrous – far greater than the impact of Russia invading Ukraine.

  4. Regardless of loosely stated agreements and moral obligations we might feel we have, going against China militarily is a mindless no-win proposition. Look who we couldn’t prevail against since WWII: North Korea (China proxy), Vietnam (China proxy and now our new fastest growing import source; 58,000 dead GIs) Iraq (we got nothing but the bill) and Afghanistan/Taliban (an even bigger bill and thousands killed). We did whip the bad guys in Panama (though not the soccer team) and Grenada (the war designed to give a huge class of unrequited Generals their needed combat badges). China full on. No way. Pray with me.

    1. Interestingly, Vietnam and China have never gotten along well, and Vietnam was certainly not a Chinese proxy. Vietnam was always much more of a Soviet Union proxy. After WWII, the nationalist Chinese KMT was responsible for disarming the Japanese in the Northern half of Vietnam, after which the KMT handed the territory over to France. While communist China provided aid and support to Ho Chi Minh in the early days, after the late-50s Sino-Soviet split, things were much more antagonistic. They even fought a border war in 1979 in an attempt to support the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The KR were a Chinese proxy, and Vietnam had invaded to stop the insanity gripping that country. Part of the early thaw in US-China relations (i.e. Nixon goes to China) was an attempt to counterbalance growing Soviet encirclement of Chinese interests.

  5. Xi has seen the results of what might happen if he attempted to invade Taiwan… Putin has learned
    this is not something where there is winning ….. for either side.

    Seems like a good time to clarify our policy…..which has always included a military defense of Taiwan……even if it was
    never voiced.

  6. I don’t see how Putin can claim a ‘win’ of any kind in Ukraine. It’s cost the Russians dearly in killed, wounded and equipment and that’s not taking into account being ostracized by most of the rest of the world as a pariah. They are the lepers of the world and if Finland and Sweden (and possibly Ukraine) are brought into NATO the new iron curtain will be to keep them in instead of keeping others out. China is certainly looking to see if it was worth it. To go from a manufacturing power house to a pariah would be a big step down for China. Xi and Putin may be the faces in charge but it is not a vacuum. There are other powerful faces in the background who may not be impressed at all. The next year will be interesting watching the leadership in Russia.

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