But Biden’s comment went beyond providing Taiwan with military resources to defend itself and was widely seen as indicative of direct US military involvement.
Mr. Biden has previously ignored the strategic ambiguity of his predecessors regarding China and Taiwan. Last August, while reassuring allies that “we would respond” if there was an attack on a fellow NATO member, he added: “Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan.”
However, Taiwan never received the same US security guarantees as Japan, South Korea or America’s NATO partners, so the comment was considered important. Two months later, at a DailyExpertNews town hall, Mr. Biden was asked whether the United States would protect Taiwan from attack. “Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” he said.
Mr Biden’s improvisation in Tokyo provoked a medley of reactions in Washington, where some political leaders praised his genuine support for an ally while others mocked him for his indiscipline.
“President Biden’s statement that when it came down to it, the US would defend Taiwan from Communist China was the right thing to say and the right thing to do,” South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said. wrote on Twitter†
On the other hand, Tommy Hicks Jr., co-chair of the Republican National Committee and close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, saw incompetence as no courage. “Another Biden Spinroom Cleanup” He wrote† “He can’t go abroad without saying something for his team to walk back minutes later. It’s reckless and embarrassing.”
Mr. Trump was, of course, much more inclined than Mr. Biden to make provocative, off-the-cuff, and unverified statements that ran counter to traditional US policy. At various points, he threatened war with North Korea, Venezuela and Iran; denounced American allies such as Germany, Japan, Canada and South Korea; and defended opponents such as Mr Putin.