Taiwan can count on US support against China

Since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, fears that China could follow in Moscow's footsteps and launch its long-threatened conquest of Taiwan have been rife. During a state visit to Japan yesterday, US President Joe Biden said that the US would support the island militarily in such a scenario. Beijing reacted indignantly. Commentators take stock of the exchange.

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The Times (GB) /

Plain talk needed with Beijing

Biden's statement will help to avoid further escalation in the region, says The Times:

“The US president's warnings were read by Chinese propagandists as sabre-rattling. In fact they were a laudable attempt to introduce some strategic clarity into the increasingly tense Far East. ... There are clear overlaps between the Russian and the Chinese crises. ... All the more important then that there should be plain speaking between great powers. The times of subtle signalling and strategic ambiguity have run their course. Today the risk lurks in miscalculation, a blundering path into wider war.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

A dangerous global situation

For Dagens Nyheter Biden's promise comes as a warning signal:

“Relations between the United States and China are worse than they have been in over 50 years. In February, Beijing and the Kremlin formed a kind of iron axis of dictatorships. Japan is rearming for the first time since 1945. ... We can take comfort in the fact that Putin's war failures and Xi Jinping's domestic problems are probably acting as deterrents. Nevertheless, Biden's words give a clear indication of how much more dangerous the world has become in the space of just a few years.”