(The Daily Horn) – During a late October CNN Town Hall, Joe Biden made a bold claim that seems to be poorly backed up. Biden affirmed that, “Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” when asked whether the United States would defend Taiwan should it be attacked by China — a statement that has worried many. The remark has not even been backed up by Biden’s own Defense Secretary, which means that following through on his claim may be harder than he thinks.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Take on Biden’s Comment
When asked his opinion on the relationship between the United States and Taiwan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin took a more cautious approach. Rather than defending Biden’s quick comment that many believe was too bold, Austin kept his take on the situation focused on the importance of helping Taiwan to defend itself instead of expecting the United States to take on a defensive role. Austin chose to only discuss known details about the United States’ relationship with Taiwan as of October 2021, rather than join Biden in speculating about a hypothetical situation.
Should the US Be Risking a Greater Conflict with China?
Maintaining relationships with potential allies is always a good idea. That being said, making bold statements that have the potential to trigger a reaction from China may not be in the best interest of the United States, especially in 2021. China is well aware of the current efforts of the United States to work through our withdrawal from Afghanistan with minimal damage, and who is to say China will not take Biden’s statement as a threat and use it to force the United States into another conflict before we are able to resolve the situation in Afghanistan?
Although Biden’s comment was probably not intended to cause alarm, its poor wording and unnecessary boldness was likely not the best approach to dealing with a country that the United States already has growing tensions with.
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