Joe Biden slammed for 'dithering' over Taiwan
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Australian strategy consultant Peter Jennings has hit out at President Joe Biden’s handling of the diplomatic storm between Washington and Beijing over US speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to Taiwan. Mr Jennings believes the US leader has “dithered” regarding the Chinese Government’s geopolitical designs for Taiwan.
Mr Jennings told Sky News Australia a visit by Ms Pelosi to Taiwan would be “significant.”
He continued: “I think it also tells you that the US has rather under-invested in Taiwan over a number of presidencies now, and what that has achieved by default is that it’s given Beijing the right to feel that it can now control who America chooses to send or who is acceptable to send to Taiwan.
“Frankly, with Beijing having created such a fuss about this, I think the Americans have absolutely no choice now other than to send Nancy Pelosi.
“What’s been dismaying to me has been yet more dithering from President Biden, who just can’t seem to stop himself from giving us a stream of thought view about the internal debate inside his administration.
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“Really what the Americans should simply have done is get Pelosi over there, and the first that anyone should really have known about it was when she’s meeting with President Tsai.
Mr Jennings added: “At the same time, I would have the USS Theodore Roosevelt or another American aircraft carrier, operating landings and takeoffs somewhere in the vicinity of the Taiwan Straits.
“just to remind China that the US is not going to be told by Beijing where its senior political leadership can travel.”
China said on Monday it heightened warnings to the Biden administration about US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan.
Such visits are a frequent source of tension between Beijing and Washington.
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The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by U.S. law to provide the democratically governed island with the means to defend itself.
Although Taiwan’s military is well-trained and well-equipped with mostly U.S.-made hardware, China has huge numerical superiority and is adding advanced equipment such as stealth fighters.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen boarded a naval warship on Tuesday for only the second time in her six years in office, where she lauded the military’s determination to defend the island while overseeing its largest annual naval and air exercises.
The military drills, which simulate the repulsion of an invading force, coincide with air-raid exercises across the island as it boosts combat preparedness in the face of rising military pressure from China.
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Beijing’s growing assertiveness towards the island it claims as its own, combined with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have renewed debate about how to boost defence and prompted authorities to step up preparations in the event of a Chinese attack.
The Chinese Government considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring the island under its control. Taiwan rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims and vows to defend its freedom and democracy.
As part of Taiwan’s annual “Han Kuang” exercises, 20 warships including frigates and destroyers fired shells to intercept and attack a would-be invading force off Taiwan’s northeast coast, while fleets of F-16 fighter jets and domestically manufactured Ching-kuo fighters launched air strikes.
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