The Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a widely anticipated address on the Joe Biden administration's policy in China. While his speech was an outline of the Biden administration's approach to China, there was nothing in it that hadn't been heard before in one form or another.
When placed in the context of the US President Joe Biden's just concluded Asia trip.
Biden has personally deployed himself in Seoul and Tokyo, revealing the White House's fixation on containing China, which has since been identified as the US's main rival since the Donald Trump days.
During his four day visit to East Asia, Biden reaffirmed alliances with like-minded partners the Republic of Korea and Japan, and tried to solidify a trilateral alliance. He also launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity and participated in a Quad summit, all with the aim of pressuring China, as was evident from Blinken's speech.
From Biden's remarks in Asia to Blinken's speech, it is increasingly clear that the current administration has shifted the focus from Trump's infamous America first attacks on Chinese trade and technology in order to focus on building a coalition of values, while Biden said that the United States would intervene militarily for Taiwan's defense in the event of an armed invasion that is nothing new. It was a repeat of what was said before. Article b, Section 2 of the law, had similar wording, although the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 was less explicit on the matter as a result of intentional ambiguity. During his presidency, George W. Bush made an analogous statement.
There is a difference this time. Despite Biden stating that the US policy of strategic ambiguity over Taiwan has not changed nor has its overall Taiwan policy, his latest statement has squeezed the space for any ambiguity. He removed any ambiguity over whether the US will intervene as had been done before, and removed any ambiguity as to how it would intervene.
It has been stated by Beijing that Taiwan is the most important and sensitive part of China-US relations. Washington added clarity to the matter may have been meant to increase deterrence against Beijing, but it also means higher risks of the two parties getting involved directly in an unwanted conflict.
It is dangerous to make Taiwan the focus of China-US relations.