Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said Saturday that it would be “inconceivable” for Australia not to join the US if it takes action to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
“It would be inconceivable that we wouldn’t support the US in an action if the US chose to take that action,” Dutton told The Australian. His comments came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that the US and its allies would take “action” if China moved to take Taiwan by force.
The US doesn’t have an obligation to defend Taiwan, but the Biden administration has been sending mixed messages to Beijing over the issue. Last month, President Biden said the US has a “commitment” to intervene if China invades Taiwan, and the White House was quick to clarify that his comments did not mean a change in policy.
Australia has joined the US in its campaign against China and recently signed a new military pact with Washington and London meant to counter Beijing, known as AUKUS. Canberra will get access to nuclear submarine technology out of the deal, although the submarines aren’t expected to be ready until the late 2030s.
Taiwan sees a friend in Australia and celebrated the signing of AUKUS. Last month, Taiwan’s foreign minister told Australian media that the island wants help from Canberra to prepare for war. “We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation,” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said.
13 thoughts on “Australia Says It’s ‘Inconceivable’ That It Won’t Join the US to Defend Taiwan”
Are things ramping up like prior to WWI? Treaties and other agreements were struck so that when the war started there were obligatory nations who were compelled to participate.
The current Australian government would most likely join on the Chinese side.
Dutton is as interested in defence as the USA is ie NOT AT ALL. The US policy is belligerence to “enemies” and Australia stupidly follows.
all this war-mongering by the US centralized empire and its colonies I mean allies is worrisome.
But in the first place, I don’t expect China to take any real military action against Taiwan at this point, unless Taiwan declares its independence or something that truly breaks the one nation tacit agreement
Secondly the US has not the military capability, nor the will, to ‘defend’ Taiwan, short of making a nuclear threat, which it never will for a dinky island 1/2 way round the world.
all this blathering is because the war-monger Blinken, certainly an incompetent and shallow minded Secr of State has been attempting to “rally” support for unachievable policies.
Why not just negotiate with adversaries and stop making threats to can’t make good on?
China cannot invade what is a part of China. It can put down in an insurrection, as was attempted in Hong Kong.
It could, however, invade Taiwan, which is not and never has been part of China.
Personally, I’d rather the US wasn’t involved in that situation at all, but that doesn’t change the nature of the situation. If China invades and occupies Taiwan, it will be an invader and an occupier.
Hmmm, don’t know what you mean re “never” … Certainly Taiwan was part of China at various times in history, and in modern times it was occupied by Japan and then freed and rejoined China during the civil war? The US and the UN consider One China to be the fact, though self administered areas are recognized.
China has been invaded and occupied by “China” at times. Just like it’s been invaded and occupied by the Dutch and the Japanese at times. Geographically, it’s no more part of “China” than Cuba is part of “Florida,” and politically, at no time in its history has it ever been ruled by the regime that claims to represent “China” at this time.
To be clear, if “China” decides to invade and occupy the island, I don’t think the US should go to war over the matter. But that’s a different position than pretending that Taiwan is “part of China.”
I see … you mean “China” as the current entity that calls itself China … the Communist republic of China that has existed for the past few decades.
I don’t think this is a realistic view nor the way most people look at things: Is the island currently called Taiwan a part of China historically (in other words for long periods of time in the past) and culturally (are they Chinese)? And do the rest of the world’s nations consider it independent or a subordinate part of One China? The US certainly has always felt like the latter until recently.
“and culturally (are they Chinese)?”
In at least one respect, the Taiwanese are more “Chinese” than the mainland. The mainland regime switched to the “Simplified” character set for writing, while Taiwan kept “traditional” characters.
As for ethnicity, the vast majority — probably 95% — of Taiwanese are descendants of Qing-dynasty-era Han immigrants, but there was a lot of inter-marriage between those Han immigrants and the “indigenous” ethnic groups that settled Taiwan long before “China” noticed it. About 2% of the population are completely non-Han “indigenous” ethnicities (the Japanese did a pretty thorough, but not absolutely complete, job of genocide on the “indigenous” groups during their 50 years of rule). About 1% are migrants/descendants from other countries.
In that respect, again, Taiwan is probably more “Chinese” than the mainland, which has a smaller ratio (abotu 90%) of Han to other ethnic groups .
The divergence is more political than cultural, as would seem to be obvious given that it was the Nationalist opponents of the Communists who last took possession of the place.
Personally, I doubt that the Beijing regime is in any great hurry to take control of Taiwan. The trade between the two is profitable for both, and popular sentiment in Taiwan doesn’t seem to favor unification, regardless of various parties on all sides babbling about “One China.”
Perhaps at some point that sentiment will change. Or perhaps Xi will be lured into an invasion/occupation by the same American political bloc which lured the Soviets into Afghanistan, and for the same purpose, or pushed into it by domestic troubles which necessitate a distraction. Personally, I don’t expect the United States as we know it to exist past 2050 or so, but expect that it will outlive the CCP regime.
I agree Tom re mainland china’s preference for the status quo … the problem is that we are closing that door on them, as you indicated. They could not stand the loss of “face” caused by a declaration of Taiwanese independence without responding.
I don’t agree re CCP’s long term survival however … they seem pretty well organized and have learned how to handle us from observing the SU’s crash and burn. And they have SUCH a wealth of nationalist human talent. An inefficient China will still be the world’s natural leader, I think.
The chasm between a de facto capitalist economy and a formally communist political dictatorship is eventually going to result in one or the other (if not both) collapsing. Xi clearly recognizes this and has announced his intention to sacrifice the former for the preservation of the latter.
The question is whether the 1.x billion people whose lives will be negatively impacted by that decision are willing to tighten their belts, after years of increasing prosperity, just so Xi and his gang can brag that they’re in charge. I suspect that if they’re willing to do it at all, they’re not willing to do it for very long or very hard.
1. “Patriotism” = Loyalty to America. Source Australian dictionary
2. If Washington decided Australia was the latest designated enemy Canberra would send troops to join the US.
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