Taiwan said Wednesday that Washington has reassured the island that the US approach to Taipei has not changed after President Biden said he and Chinese President Xi Xinping agreed to abide by the “Taiwan agreement.”
Biden made the comments to reporters on Tuesday when asked about rising tensions in the region. “I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,” Biden said, apparently referring to a phone conversation he had with Xi on September 9th.
Biden was likely referring to the one China policy, but since there is no deal known as the “Taiwan agreement,” Taipei sought clarification from Washington. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said after asking for clarification, it was reassured the US commitment to the island is “rock solid.”
The confusion comes as the US and Taiwan are hyping Chinese military flights in the area Taiwan claims as its air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Since September 2020, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has been reporting such flights, and the highest number of Chinese warplanes entering the space was recorded Monday.
Contrary to how the West portrays these flights, an ADIZ is not a country’s airspace, and the concept is not covered under any international treaties or laws. The Chinese typically fly planes in the southwest corner of the ADIZ, nowhere near the island of Taiwan.
Adding to the hysteria, Taiwanese Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said Wednesday that by 2025, China would have the “full ability” to invade Taiwan. “It is the toughest situation I have seen in more than 40 years of my military life,” he said. Chiu made the comments during a session of Taiwan’s legislature that was reviewing a potential boost in the island’s military budget.
On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs published an op-ed penned by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen where she warned of “catastrophic” consequences if China takes Taiwan. Tsai said there has been an uptick in Chinese military activity since 2020, but this directly correlates with a significant increase in US military activity in the region.