Taiwan should not expect US military support in a conflict with China
WASHINGTON, BM, – An interesting comment came during a briefing by Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby when asked by a journalist what the coordination between Japan and the United States would be if China decided to invade Taiwan. The question surprised the press secretary and he had to explain in a little more detail what the relations with Taiwan are.
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“I’ll let the Japanese government speak to their comments. What I would tell you is nothing has changed about our policy with respect – to Taiwan. We continue to observe the One China policy and recognize that, by the three communique, the six assurances, and of course the Taiwan Relations Act.
We also remain committed to helping Taiwan defend itself. Again, with bipartisan support over many decades from Congress on that. Nothing’s changed about that. And the last thing I’d say is nobody wants to see the situation dissolve – into conflict, and there’s no reason for it too.
So we’re focused on making sure Taiwan can continue to defend itself. And obviously, separate and distinct from Taiwan altogether, the Secretary’s made clear that – that in the Indo-Pacific region, we’ve got to continue to pursue what he calls integrated deterrence, which is about netting our capabilities and our – our resources together across the Joint Force but also working with our allies and partners, and that certainly includes Japan, South Korea, Australia, many other partners in the region” were Kirby’s words.
Things might have ended better if the same journalist had not asked a second question about the political “coordination of communications for Taiwan between the United States and Japan.” Kirby was again surprised by the question and became confused, having to explain that relations and close military cooperation between Japan and the United States have not changed, but the United States does not want a conflict in the Pacific.
“I appreciate where you want the question to go but we’re – we don’t – we – what we don’t want to see is any need for this to dissolve into conflict. The – the – we want to – we want to, again, adhere to the One China policy and we don’t want any unilateral changes in the situation concerning Taiwan. Again, our commitment is to make sure that Taiwan can continue to defend itself.,” Kirby finished the topic.
Kirby’s comment comes a day after Japan announced that along with the United States, Taiwan would receive military support if China decided to invade the island. However, there is a “lack of communication” on common issues concerning Japan and the United States. Kirby backed away from the Japanese comment, insisting that there would be arms supplies, but they never talked about military support.
Taiwan’s comment is expected, as military experts say the islanders may be left with the wrong impression, and the involvement of US troops in a possible conflict is not guaranteed at all.
Taiwan and the United States are on good terms. In recent years, Taiwan has been one of the main buyers of military equipment, both air and sea, and ground, from US manufacturers. The United States has repeatedly participated in exercises in the region to improve the island nation’s combat capabilities, as well as jointly developed strategies in the event of an attack by China.
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