US toying with ambiguity is a risky game

Asked in a CBS 60 Minutes interview broadcast on Sunday whether US forces would engage in a conflict with the Chinese mainland over Taiwan, US President Joe Biden unambiguously replied: "Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack."

When he was further asked to clarify if he meant that unlike in Ukraine, US forces-American men and women-would defend Taiwan in the event of a "Chinese invasion", Biden replied simply: "Yes."

Although the White House later clarified, in response to the media's inquiries on the president's comments, that the US policy toward Taiwan has not changed, something Biden had reiterated in the interview as well, it is becoming clear that the US is gradually bidding farewell to a policy of "strategic ambiguity" over the Taiwan question which it has stuck to for decades.

Compared with his statement four months back, when asked during his visit to Tokyo if the US was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, that "Yes … That's the commitment we made", Biden's latest remarks obviously mark a step forward in making clear how Washington now views that "commitment".

This is a dangerous development. Biden's remarks on the Taiwan question are part and parcel of its salami-slicing collusion with the secession-minded Tsai Ing-wen administration of the island aimed at changing the status quo of the cross-Straits situation and internationalizing the Taiwan question.

The co-existence of Biden's pledge to defend Taiwan with US forces should the Chinese mainland seek to realize reunification by force and the clarity with which his administration has stressed the US' one-China policy remains unchanged speaks volumes of how it views the island and the commitments Washington made to Beijing in the three Sino-US communiques.

The US is not protecting Taiwan but using the island as bait to provoke Beijing to use force to resolve the Taiwan question, which will provide Washington with a pretext to rope in its gang to intervene militarily. In doing so, it is making clear that it considers the three Sino-US communiques that have served as the political foundations of bilateral ties to be nothing but scraps of paper.

Although Biden claims that his administration "agrees on what we (the US) signed a long time ago", for him and his administration what was agreed is shifting sand.

With the so-called Taiwan Policy Act 2022 being reviewed by Congress, which, if legalized, will mark a major upgrading of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 to allow the US to directly provide military assistance to the island, the US is recklessly generating a perfect storm.

The playing of the Taiwan card in this way shows Washington is not to be trusted and the Biden administration is bereft of any political wisdom.