New York, May 19 (CNA) United States President Joe Biden’s engagements with regional leaders during his current trip to Asia could yield positive political overtones for Taiwan, American observers said Thursday.
There could be a serious conversations on what Japan and the U.S. might do to “deter aggression against Taiwan,” said Shelia Smith, a senior fellow for Asia Pacific studies at the New York-based think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has framed the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a challenge to global order that affects the Indo-Pacific, will certainly want to continue to coordinate with the U.S. on how to respond to a Taiwan crisis, Smith told a CFR forum, held to preview Biden’s trip.
Smith said references to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and concerns over China’s behavior can be expected in a joint statement issued by Biden and Kishida.
Biden is starting his trip in South Korea, where he arrived Friday afternoon. He is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Yoon Seok-youl, with most of the attention expected to be on North Korea.
US, South Korea reaffirm importance of peace in Taiwan Strait (May 21)
He will then travel to Tokyo to meet Kishida and attend the leaders’ summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known colloquially as the Quad, an alliance of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia, on May 24, where the emphasis could turn to China, observers said.
Manjari Chatterjee Miller, a senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia with the CFR, said at the forum that she expected the specter of China as a strategic threat to open societies and democracies to be at the top of the Quad summit’s agenda.
“It would also be a demonstration that there would be the similar kind of resolve in Asia on Taiwan as there has been in Europe on Ukraine,” Miller said. “I think that’s something that the Biden administration would hope to solidify with this meeting.”
Miller said she did not expect to see a Quad statement that explicitly mentions China, however, partly because India would not be part of the Quad if it were a very explicitly anti-China alliance.
Nonetheless, the way Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan characterized the trip — that it is meant for open societies and democracies to get together — has made it clear there would be regional support for Taiwan if it were attacked by China, Miller argued.
(By Ozzy Yin and Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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