There’s nothing for Biden to walk back on defending Taiwan

Biden’s remarks came at precisely the right moment to let superpower leaders know that there are limits to U.S. patience.

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Editorials

May 25, 2022 - 3:51 PM

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 8, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

President Joe Biden’s remark Monday about a U.S. military response should China invade Taiwan was no gaffe and didn’t deserve to be walked back by his aides. Biden knew exactly what he was saying. He stated it three different ways at a news conference as Japan’s prime minister stood beside him. Despite all his previous malaprops and fumbled syntax, in this case, Biden said exactly what needed to be said, and what the world needed to hear.

U.S. national security and global security are one in the same. The isolationism embraced by a fringe group of congressional Republicans represents the kinds of misguided thinking that encouraged Adolf Hitler to march across Europe and Japan to bomb Pearl Harbor, wrongly assuming there was no one to stand in their way. The United States must never again be perceived as a reluctant hand-wringer on the world stage.

Biden’s predecessor spent most of his term insulting U.S. allies, weakening NATO and pulling back from America’s global leadership role. Russian leader Vladimir Putin felt emboldened to meddle in Ukraine and challenge the United States militarily over international waters. President Donald Trump repeatedly praised Putin’s boldness.

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