The Big Ideas

'Taiwan in US-Japan statement: show of resolve or diplomatic calculus?'
'Taiwan in US-Japan statement: show of resolve or diplomatic calculus?'
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April 18, 2021
BIG IDEA | "The statement shunned more specific language like 'defend Taiwan' to avoid unnecessarily provoking China."
‘We should be paying attention both to what happened and what didn’t happen at the meeting, says ‘Mirna Galic of the Atlantic Council’
A “much-expected statement on Taiwan did not materialize, but was instead subsumed in a broader statement of opposition to any attempts by China ‘to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and South China seas and intimidation [by China] of others in the [Indo-Pacific] region.’” Atlantic Council

‘The highly anticipated mention of Taiwan in a joint statement by U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issued after the leaders met for the first time face-to-face on Friday has left much to interpretation.’

  • ‘ "We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues," the statement reads.'

‘This was the first time since 1969 that the island was mentioned in a post-summit document by the leaders of the two nations.’

  • ‘At the same time, it is a bland, vanilla collection of nonemotional words calling for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, but did not Taiwan itself.’

‘It was likely the culmination of the back-and-forth between the two countries, with Biden wanting to take a stand on China and Suga not wanting to burn all bridges with Beijing.’