Amidst Beijing’s escalating aggressive behavior towards Taiwan, Joe Biden has assured the public that he and Xi Jinping will abide by the “Taiwan Agreement” – a puzzling statement given that such an agreement doesn’t exist. Some believe Biden meant the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act which, on the one hand, binds the United States to help Taiwan military, but on the other hand, acknowledges that the island belongs to China and takes no position on Taiwan’s sovereignty. But Xi Jinping is under no obligation to abide by an old and purposefully vague Act by the U.S. Congress, which China has neither signed nor negotiated.
Why it matters:
- Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, which should be taken by force if necessary. Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy, blaming China for the tensions. Taiwan’s defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, told Parliament on Wednesday that the current crisis “is the most severe in the 40 years since I’ve enlisted.”
- The vague and ambiguous statements by president Biden can be perceived by the rest of the world as a green light to Beijing’s aggression and as a further indication that this president is continuing on his path of abandoning America’s allies, or that his confused mind makes him too incompetent to be a serious world leader.