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U.S. Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went out of his way today to heap praise on Joe Biden over Taiwan comments that the White House later essentially walked back.

During a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden responded “yes” when asked if the US would be prepared to defend Taiwan if China attacked the island nation. 

“That’s the commitment we made. We agree with the ‘one China’ policy. We signed on to it. All the attendant agreements (were) made from there. But the idea that that can be taken by force, just taken by force. It’s just not — it’s just not appropriate,” Biden explained 

As the New York Post reported, the White House later insisted that US policy on Taiwan “has not changed.” 

Fox New’s Jacqui Heinrich tweeted that she “asked a WH official how Biden’s statement at the press conf should be seen by China, especially after they expressed anger the State Department recently removed language saying the US does not support Taiwan independence, and Biden’s comment seemed a step further.”

The official responded with a statement: “As the president said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.”

The “one China” policy refers to the U.S. position that the Communist government in Beijing is the sole legal authority over the Asian nation and acknowledges — but does not accept — its claim that Taiwan is part of China, the Post noted.

The Post also pointed out that under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the US is not required to militarily defend Taiwan, but is required to ensure Taiwan has the resources to defend itself and despite the cleanup, China’s foreign ministry hit back at Biden today and expressed “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to his comments. 

Graham, however, signalled his approval in a three-part tweet where he began, “President Biden’s statement that if push came to shove the U.S. would defend Taiwan against communist China was the right thing to say and the right thing to do.”

“Abandoning Taiwan to communist China would be abandoning democracy itself. It would lead to major cracks in world order and world security that would take generations to recover from,” Graham insisted.

Graham added, “Our military capabilities in the region must be enhanced along with that of our partners like Taiwan.”

David Caron
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