‘Amateur hour!’ Joe Biden slammed as White House walks back Taiwan defence remarks

Joe Biden has been blasted for overseeing “amateur hour” at the White House after the US President was forced to walk back on a previous statement which appeared to talk up the United States’s willingness to use force to defend Taiwan from China. Mr Biden’s mishandling of the US policy on Taiwan has been blasted by Asia expert Gordon Chang who argues the gaffe could have grave consequences for US “defence commitments around the world.”

Mr Chang told Fox News: “This is amateur hour at 1600, Pennsylvania.

“This actually has real-world consequences, largely because the Chinese will look at this and say that the administration is incapable and irresolute. 

“Biden was very clear a couple days ago when he said the United States will defend Taiwan. 

“I mean, there was no ambiguity about that, and now under pressure, you have his support and his contradicting him, Biden now changing his tune. 

“This really is this is bad and it’s bad not with regard to Taiwan only it is in regard to with all our defence commitments around the world.”

On Monday, President Biden angered China by saying he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan. But the White House later said US policy toward the self-ruled democratic island had not changed.

China considers Taiwan an inalienable part of its territory that should be reunited with the mainland.

Russian and Chinese military planes conducted joint exercises to patrol the Asia-Pacific region on Tuesday in a pointed farewell to Biden as the US leader concluded his recent Asia trip. 

Japan scrambled jets after Russian and Chinese warplanes neared its airspace while Tokyo was hosting the leaders of the Quad group of countries, which includes the United States, said Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, who called the move a provocation.

Mr Biden stressed during the trip, intended in part to counter China’s growing influence in the region, that the United States will stand with its allies and partners to push for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Beijing and Moscow declared a “no-limits” partnership just weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, and China has refused to condemn the move.

The joint patrol lasted 13 hours over the Japanese and East China seas and involved Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers and Chinese Xian H-6 jets, the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.

Planes from the Japanese and South Korean air forces shadowed the Russian and Chinese jets for part of the exercise, it said.