After Chinese state media warned Taiwan it would be doomed to Afghanistan’s fate, the Biden administration has vowed to help the island nation defend itself.
“We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” a senior Biden administration official told Fox News on Tuesday. “We consider this central to the security and stability of the broader Indo-Pacific region. Events elsewhere in the world are not going to change this enduring interest.”
The official added a rebuke of China for using the Afghanistan takeover as propaganda to threaten Taiwan.
“It’s also unfortunate that PRC’s state media is exploiting the human suffering in Afghanistan to take shots at the United States,” the official added to Fox News. “That’s not what responsible powers do.”
“We will uphold our commitment under [the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act], we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, returning early from a planned vacation, echoed the remarks in the daily press briefing Tuesday.
“Our message is very clear: We stand by, as is outlined in the Taiwan relations agreement, by individuals in Taiwan,” Psaki said. “We stand by partners around the world who are subject to this kind of propaganda that Russia and China are projecting. And we’re going to continue to deliver on those words with actions.
“Our objective in Afghanistan is to deliver also on what the president promised, which is to not put the men and women who served our country bravely over the past 20 years in harm’s way again. And that’s what we’ll also be projecting to them as well.”
The Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper, published an editorial Monday warning Taiwan the U.S. abandoning Afghanistan is “an omen of Taiwan’s future fate.”
“From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the U.S. military won’t come to help,” the editorial claimed. “As a result, the DPP authorities will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane.”
The Times editorial added the people of Taiwan should take notice of the Afghanistan withdrawal as a sign the U.S. might ultimately abandon Taiwan, too.
“How Washington abandoned the Kabul regime particularly shocked some in Asia, including the island of Taiwan,” the editorial read. “Taiwan is the region that relies on the protection of the US the most in Asia, and the island’s Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] authorities have made Taiwan go further and further down this abnormal path.”