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America Will Defend Taiwan: Biden

“We’re the most powerful military in the world.”
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Following weeks of multiple Chinese incursions into Taiwanese airspace, the U.S. has reminded China that Taiwan is under the protection of the United States. 

On October 21, U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed his country’s commitment to defending Taiwan in case of an attack. 

“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” said Biden in a CNN Town Hall. 

China has been drumming up pressure on Taiwan to accept Beijing’s sovereignty over it. In October alone, China has sent at least 150 aircraft into Taiwanese airspace. On October 4, it sent a record number of warplanes over Taiwan, which included 34 jet fighters and 12 nuclear bombers.

“We’re the most powerful military in the world.”

During the town hall meeting, Biden told the community that the world still recognizes the U.S. as the most powerful country. 

"China, Russia, and the rest of the world know we're the most powerful military in the history of the world.”

“What you do have to worry about is whether or not they’re going to engage in activities that would put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake,” said Biden. 

Nevertheless, Biden said he does not want a Cold War with China. 

“I don’t want a cold war with China. I just want China to understand that we’re not going to step back, that we’re not going to change any of our views.”

The U.S. is Required by Law to Aid Taiwan

Under the Taiwan Relations Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1979, America is required to provide aid to Taiwan for its defense. Part of its goal is to "maintain peace, security, and stability in the Western Pacific."

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However, the U.S. has maintained a position of ambiguity over the years regarding its stance on coming to the defense of Taiwan in case China attacks. 

That does not mean it is not actively helping Taiwan. The U.S. is Taiwan's largest source of military equipment. This is thanks to a provision in the Act that states "the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities."

This month, Taiwan requested the U.S. to expedite its delivery of F-16 fighter jets.  

Tensions between Taiwan and China have been the worst in 40 years, according to Taipei’s defense minister. 

Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over each other. But technically, Taiwan is a part of China in accordance with the One China Policy recognized by the United Nations. In the sporting world including the Olympics, Taiwan uses the name Chinese Taipei. It is also referred to by this name in international events and organizations such as the World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, and APEC. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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