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Biden would approve military action against China if it invaded Taiwan

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 5/23/2022 Nikki Schwab, Senior U.S. Political Reporter In Tokyo, Japan and Geoff Earle, Deputy U.S. Political Editor In Tokyo, Japan

President Joe Biden affirmed he would be willing to get involved militarily if China invaded Taiwan – drawing parallels between that threat and Russia's invasion of Ukraine during a press conference Monday in Tokyo.

 'Yes,' Biden said. 'That's a commitment we made,' Biden responded when asked about the hot button diplomatic issue alongside Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. 

Biden reiterated that the United States agrees to the so-called 'One China' policy - that only the People's Republic of China is 'China,' thus the U.S.'s diplomatic relationship with Taiwan is unofficial. 

'But the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not appropriate,' Biden said. 'It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.'  

Biden was asked at the very end of press conference, held at Tokyo's Akasaka Palace, if he was 'willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, if it comes to that,' to which the president answered in the affirmative. 

The reporter noted the distinction that the U.S. is providing weapons and aid to Ukraine, but it not involved in the fighting. 

The U.S. already provides fighter jets and Patriot missiles to Taiwan, but official policy is deliberately ambiguous in keeping with the 'one China' policy Biden referenced. 

'Our policy toward Taiwan has not changed at all. We remain committed to supporting the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and ensuring that there is no unilateral change in the status quo,' Biden said minutes before. 

He then pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin's 'barbarism' in Ukraine, noting the Russian bombing of Ukrainian schools. 

'I believe what Putin is attempting to do is eliminate the identity of Ukraine, the identity. He can't occupy it but he can destroy its identity,' Biden said. 'Russia has to pay a longterm price for that.' 

The president asked 'what signal does that send to China about the cost of attempting to take Taiwan by force' if Russia wasn't punished properly. 

Before Biden's press conference remark, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Taiwan wouldn't be included in the 13-country Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which Biden and Kishida will unveil in Tokyo later Monday. 

Taiwan's inclusion would have irked China.  

President Joe Biden affirmed he'd approve military action against China if it invaded Taiwan, drawing parallels between that threat and Russia's invasion of Ukraine during a press conference Monday in Tokyo © Provided by Daily Mail President Joe Biden affirmed he'd approve military action against China if it invaded Taiwan, drawing parallels between that threat and Russia's invasion of Ukraine during a press conference Monday in Tokyo President Joe Biden (left) participated in a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) in Tokyo on Monday © Provided by Daily Mail President Joe Biden (left) participated in a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) in Tokyo on Monday

Biden kicked off his first full day in Japan by traveling to two Tokyo palaces before noon - first meeting with Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace and then Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Akasaka Palace.

Biden's meeting with Kishida marked the first time the two leaders held an in-person bilateral gathering, as the Japanese prime minister took office in October. The two met along the sidelines of the G7 in March in Brussels. Biden met virtually with Kishida in January. 

'I want to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for your strong leadership and your support of the Ukrainian people, it was welcomed more than could know,' Biden said seated alongside Kishida in an ornate room. 

On the war, Kishida remarked: 'Russia's aggression of Ukraine undermines the foundation of global order.' 

Biden also told the prime minister that the U.S.- Japanese alliance 'has long been the cornerstone of peace and prosperity and Indo-Pacific.' 

'And the United States remains fully committed to Japanese - to Japan's defense and we will face the challenges of today and the future together,' Biden added. 

The president didn't take questions from the press at the conclusion of his opening remarks with Kishida, with U.S. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel caught on camera laughing and smirking as reporters were yelled at to depart. 

President Joe Biden (left) met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumo Kishida (right) Monday morning at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Biden thanks Kishida for Japan's help in supporting Ukraine 

President Joe Biden (left) met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumo Kishida (right) Monday morning at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Biden thanks Kishida for Japan's help in supporting Ukraine 
© Provided by Daily Mail

A White House readout of the meeting upon its conclusion said that Bidenb and Kishida also discussed North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs 'and China's increasingly coercive behavior that runs counter to international law.' 


Video: Biden: US would intervene with military to defend Taiwan (Associated Press)

As Biden arrived at Akasaka Palace, he was greeted with considerable pomp and circumstance.

 A Japanese honor guard - dressed in white uniforms with red accents - marched with American and Japanese flags. 

A military band played the Star-Spangled Banner and then the Japanese national anthem. 

Biden was accompanied by Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago and President Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff, as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, among others. 

After Biden and Kishida hold their bilateral meeting, they'll hold a joint press conference Monday afternoon.  

Monday night they'll have dinner together at the Tokyo restaurant Kuchuon.

Earlier at the Imperial Palace, Biden was met outside by the emperor before the two slipped inside for a private meeting. 

Biden didn't touch the emperor, nor did he bow. 

'President Biden called on His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito today to offer greetings on behalf of the American people, highlighting the strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship anchored by deep people-to-people ties,' the White House said about Biden's first stop.  

President Joe Biden (left) greets Japan's Emperor Naruhito (right) for a meeting at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo - the first stop on Biden's first full day in Japan 

President Joe Biden (left) greets Japan's Emperor Naruhito (right) for a meeting at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo - the first stop on Biden's first full day in Japan 
© Provided by Daily Mail

Biden's first trip to Asia puts him face-to-face with three new leaders: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Biden arrived at Kyoto Air Base outside of Tokyo late Sunday afternoon after spending two days in South Korea. 

There, Biden met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for the first time. 

Yoon has only been in office for 13 days. 

They held at event at a Samsung plant, held a bilateral meeting and press conference, then Yoon invited Biden to National Museum of Korea for a state dinner, complete with Korean fare. They spent part of Sunday together at Osan Air Base thanking American and Korean troops. 

On Tuesday, Biden will meet Australia's Albanese as part of the second in-person Quad meeting, which India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend. 

Albanese won Saturday's Australian election over incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 

The White House confirmed Sunday that Albanese would fly to Tokyo for the Quad meeting as one of his first official duties. 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (center right) looks at the venue prepared for the welcome ceremony Monday for President Joe Biden 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (center right) looks at the venue prepared for the welcome ceremony Monday for President Joe Biden 
© Provided by Daily Mail

First Lady Jill Biden beat her husband to Asia, when she led a two-person U.S. delegation to the Tokyo Olympics in July, which was scaled-down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She, too, met with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace. The first lady also spent time at Akasaka Palace with Japan's previous leader, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife Mariko. 

While Biden will be interacting with new leaders, an old problem hung over his time in Asia: missile and nuclear testing threats from North Korea. 

As of mid-day Monday, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un hadn't tested an ICBM or a nuke.

Biden will privately meet the families of Japanese people who have been abducted in North Korea alongside Kishida Monday afternoon. 

From there he'll debut the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF, with a number of countries in the region. 

First Lady Jill Biden (left) traveled to Tokyo last summer and met with Japenese Emperor Naruhito (right) at an event welcoming all the heads of delegations for the Tokyo summer Olympics  © Provided by Daily Mail First Lady Jill Biden (left) traveled to Tokyo last summer and met with Japenese Emperor Naruhito (right) at an event welcoming all the heads of delegations for the Tokyo summer Olympics  First Lady Jill Biden waves to reporters as she arrived at the Imperial Palace last July for an event hosted by Japan's Emperor Naruhito © Provided by Daily Mail First Lady Jill Biden waves to reporters as she arrived at the Imperial Palace last July for an event hosted by Japan's Emperor Naruhito Read more
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