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Why it makes sense for the U.S. to not commit to defending Taiwan

By Brett V. Benson

25 May 2022 · 5 min read

When President Joe Biden responded "yes" to a reporter who asked whether the United States would be "willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan," the debate over the policy of "strategic ambiguity" toward the island was reawakened. The White House quickly clarified that, despite the president's off-the-cuff remark, there was no policy change: The United States continues to recognize Beijing as the sole legitimate Chinese government, while supplying arms to Taiwan - and not comment on what further actions it would take to defend it.

Yet some observers suggested that we have been overdue for tougher talk. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for example, tweeted that Biden's answer "was the right thing to say" and that making a formal military commitment was "the right thing to do."

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