TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. State Department emphasized that Washington's commitment to Taiwan is "rock solid" and that it retains the ability to counter any attempts by China to use force or coercion against the island nation.
On Monday (April 5), the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) announced that a carrier battle group led by the Liaoning was conducting exercises near Taiwan and claimed such drills would be carried out on "a regular basis in the future." In apparent coordination with the carrier group, 15 Chinese military aircraft, including 12 fighter jets on Wednesday, intruded into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
Before an impromptu gathering of reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that U.S. policymakers "clearly see the danger of the possibility of China launching an attack against Taiwan. He vowed that if China were to attack, "We will defend ourselves to the very last day.”
During a press conference on Wednesday (April 7), State Department Spokesperson Ned Price responded to this week's Chinese provocations by saying:
"Our commitment to Taiwan is rock solid. We think and we know that it contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability in across the Taiwan Strait and within the region as well. We have, of course, taken note with great concern the pattern of ongoing PRC efforts and attempts to intimidate in the region including in the context of Taiwan."
Price then cited the Taiwan Relations Act, which Biden voted for in 1979, as being a long-standing policy that preserves the U.S.' ability to "resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security or the social or economic system of the people on Taiwan." This follows the Biden administration's pattern of emphasizing the 1970s-era act over legislation passed under the Trump administration such as the Taiwan Assurance Act, TAIPEI Act, and Taiwan Travel Act.
Also, in keeping with Biden's policy of seeking to team up with allies when dealing with China, Price said the U.S. will "continue to work will allies and partners in support of our shared prosperity, our security, and our values in the Indo-Pacific region, and that includes with regards to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait." That same day, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain plowed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the fourth passage of an American naval vessel through the strait since Biden took office.